What do you do when you do what you do? Take a moment and read it again, let it sink in, it’s a bit of a mouthful I know. Now let us begin.
Are you aware of the environment around you when you do what you do? Do you understand that your actions and reactions do not occur in isolation? Too often we take our interactions for granted. We do not question what we do and the effect that it has upon the environment we are in. Sadly, critical reflection is not commonplace.
Self-awareness is a powerful skill that everyone should seek to develop further in their professional and personal lives. Self-awareness can be described as the conscious knowledge of one’s character and feelings. Essentially if you are able to understand your own emotions, how they are unconsciously transmitted and how you react in times of communication, then you are in a far better position to understand the reaction of others during and following your interactions. As a leader, are you aware of the impact of your interactions?
A useful skill to enhance one’s self-awareness is the concept of reflection in-action (Argyris & Schön, 1978) which is the ability to reflect on your actions whilst you are carrying them out. Through critical appreciation of your actions as they happen, you are in a better position to understand the effects of your actions; long and short-term, and able to consider whether they are best practice or require change to achieve the desired outcomes.
When brought together alongside experiential learning and reflection on-action, a term I am sure we are all aware of as it is fundamentally the way in which we learn from birth, a leader can evaluate in the moment and post event which can provide valuable insights for future action.