Here’s what he or she knows
impression he or she is communicating. They know what Maya Angelou taught, that people won’t remember what you said, but they’ll always remember how you made them feel.
So, put great effort into thinking through each of your communications to consider how the receiver will hear it. You can’t control all inferences, of course, but you can think carefully about what you are communicating.
Don’t drone on, consider what’s important to your audience and weave passion, emotion and insight into your oratory. This includes paying attention to your body language and the non-verbal signals you’re sending.
Make eye contact, don’t lean away from the listener and smile and engage people when speaking.
They’re aware that they live in a fishbowl
Self-aware leaders know that their actions are being watched by their employees or team members. So remember that what you do and how you show up in front of your organization has a reverberating impact.
It’s not just the obvious things, such as key decisions, team meetings or the company holiday party. It’s the little things that reverberate even more, such as whether or not you treat everyone with respect, if you’re patient and kind and if you’re a good listener.
In my experience, the smaller and quieter the act, the louder the reverberation. Be aware that every engagement with the troops is an opportunity for a win.
They know that it’s very obvious when they’re not being transparent
The least self-aware leaders think they’re getting away with bending the truth, withholding information or operating with a hidden agenda. We human beings are pretty savvy and have a sixth-sense way of picking up on these falsehoods.
Default to transparency. You might have short periods of getting away with the alternative, but it will catch up with you. And it’s incredibly difficult to recover and regain trust in the midst of being exposed as being nontransparent.
I still haven’t forgotten such transgressions even from those leaders I worked for long ago.
They know not to feed cliques
Leaders weak on self-awareness play favorites and build visible, privileged inner circles. They are tone deaf to the fact that the cliques that they encourage or are even a part of are very obvious to the rest of the organization.
For those not in the in-crowd, resentment, frustration and withdrawal can form, which is toxic for a work culture.
As a self-aware leader, know how critical it is for you to send signals of equality and diversity. Show that everyone has a chance to contribute and be appreciated in equal measure. Be cognizant of players trying to curry your favor by engaging in office politics. Be clear that you won’t be a part of it.
So, be aware that there’s plenty you can do to dramatically increase your self-awareness.
By tuning into these five things, you’ll tune up your leadership prowess.
Scott Mautz is the author of “Find The Fire: Ignite Your Inspiration and Make Work Exciting Again,” the CEO of Profound Performance and an adjunct professor at Indiana University.