Guest Blog: The Need For Self-Knowledge and Self-Awareness in Business
Whitney Iles is a women of many talents, the self proclaimed social entrepreneur and community activist works with everyone from gang members and impressionable young girls to Council leaders, boardroom chairman and CEOs. She has a lot going on and her opinion holds weight for all that know her…. so I am very happy that she has given up some time to contribute to this blog. Enjoy!
The Need For Self-Knowledge and Self-Awareness in Business
Those who know me know that I am a little obsessive compulsive on the topic of self. My focus is not one of egotism or narcissism, but one of understanding why as leaders we act the way that we do. Learning about self has been something that has helped me over the years develop as a leader and CEO. It has enabled me to focus on the details of leadership and continually push myself to be better.
Personal challenges cross over into our professional lives more than most would like to admit. I call these ‘leaks.’ One of the best ways to see if these ‘leaks’ are happening is to be aware of our own reactions to challenges. For example when things go wrong, how do we act?
When running a business things go wrong all the time. If you are in a position of leadership you are the one who takes charge when this happens. If you find yourself constantly looking for someone else to blame, this is a leak. Now sometimes things do go wrong because of others. A leak would be revealed when the fault doesn’t entirely lay with someone else, or when there is no one to blame at all, and yet blame is still cast upon another. Another leak is a failure to take charge of a situation and stay focused on the reality in front of us.
I was speaking to a friend of mine the other day that had been experiencing difficulty with her new business. A few small unfortunate events had started to spiral out of control and it was causing her serious amounts of stress and anxiety. She had taken all the necessary steps needed to correct the situation and what was now happening, the trigger event we shall call it, was an uncontrollable glitch, but it had worked her up into a state of wanting to fold the company completely. This is a perfect example of personal challenges affecting professional problems. It was her state of mind that was making the situation almost impossible to get through. Her insecurities had been triggered and all the unconscious feelings of not being good enough had dripped through into reality without her being fully aware. Her challenge was not what was going on with her business, but what was going on within her mind. Once this was acknowledged she was able to consciously separate the personal from the business. This took the stress and anxiety away from the situation and she was able to calmly resolve the problem.
Our un-dealt with fears leak out into our daily lives in more ways than we would like to imagine. The more we are aware of what is happening in our unconscious minds, the more control we can have in creating our desired reality.
By beginning to observe our reactions, we start to have a wider knowledge of self. Then we can look into what situations trigger negative emotions and prevent us from moving forward. When we take the emotions we are feeling out of the equation and correct the wrong, we seal leaks and become more effective leaders.
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