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It is a way for us to explore ourselves, explore our personalities, value systems, beliefs, tendencies and inclinations. Since all of us are different in our own way we react to different things in different ways, synthesize information and sometimes it is useful to spend time in self-realization and gain better insight on ourselves.
Its' very difficult to find time to think about who we are and what are our strengths, weaknesses, our personalities, our habits and our values. Besides, most of us aren't inclined to spend much time on self-reflection. Even though honest feedback is not flattering but it's the truth and truth may not be always flattering. On the other hand many of us have very low level of self-awareness. Unfortunate but true that self-awareness is an essential step toward maximizing management skills and to improve our judgement and help us identify opportunities for professional development and personal growth.
Why self-awareness is important?
When we have a better understanding of ourselves, which self-awareness brings in us, empowers us to make changes and to build on our areas of strength as well as identify areas where we would like to make improvements. Self-awareness is often a first step to goal setting.
Areas for Self-Awareness
Humans are diverse and complex and in order to become self-aware we need to have an understanding of ourselves in many areas. These areas for self-awareness includes habits, personal values, emotions, personality traits and needs that drive our behaviour.
Personalities can't be changed, values and needs based on what we learn about ourselves. But, an understanding of ourselves can help find environment and situations in which we can survive
Our habits are the behaviours that we repeat routinely and often automatically. Although we would like to possess the habits that help us interact effectively with and manage others, we can probably all identify at least one of our habits that decreases our effectiveness. For example, if you are a manager who never consults our staff before making decisions, that habit may interfere with our ability to build our staff members' commitment to the decisions and their decision-making skills as well.
Maslow and other scholars have identified a variety of psychological needs that drive our behaviours such as needs for esteem, affection, belongingness, achievement, self-actualization, power and control. One of the advantages of knowing which needs exert the strongest influence on our own behaviours is the ability to understand how they affect our interpersonal relationships. For instance, most of us have probably known people who have a high need for status. They're attracted to high status occupations, and they seek high status positions within their organizations. Such people also want the things that symbolize their status. They insist that they be shown respect, and they want privileges and perks that people of lower status can't have. Sometimes these people fight for things that others see as inconsequential--like a bigger office. Needs cause motivation; and when needs aren't satisfied, they can cause frustration, conflict and stress.
Emotional self-awareness has become a hot topic of discussion recently because it's one of the five facets of emotional intelligence. Understanding our own feelings, what causes them, and how they impact our thoughts and actions is emotional self-awareness. If you were once excited about our job but not excited now, can you get excited again? To answer that question, it helps to understand the internal processes associated with getting excited. That sounds simpler than it is. Here's an analogy: I think I know how my car starts--I put gas in the tank, put the key in the ignition, and turn the key. But, my mechanic knows a lot more about what's involved in getting my car started than I do--he knows what happens under the hood. My mechanic is able to start my car on the occasions when I'm not because he understands the internal processes. Similarly, a person with high emotional self-awareness understands the internal process associated with emotional experiences and, therefore, has greater control over them.
It's important that we each know and focus on our personal values. For instance, if our first priority is "being there for our children" or "our relationship with God," it's very easy to lose sight of those priorities on a day-to-day, moment-by-moment basis. During the workday, so many problems and opportunities arise that our lists of "things to do" can easily exceed the time we have to do them. Since few (if any) of those things pertain to what we value most, it's easy to spend too much time on lower priority activities. When we focus on our values, we are more likely to accomplish what we consider most important.
How Self-Awareness Makes You More Effective
Self-awareness helps managers identify gaps in their management skills, which promotes skill development. But self-awareness also helps managers find situations in which they will be most effective, assists with intuitive decision making, and aids stress management and motivation of oneself and others.
Improvement projects should normally begin with an assessment of the gap between the current situation and the desired future situation. Having an accurate sense of who you are helps you decide what you should do to improve. Often, self-awareness will reveal a skills gap that you want to work on.
Knowing our strengths and weaknesses:
Self-awareness helps you exploit our strengths and cope with our weaknesses. For instance, if you are someone who is good at "seeing the big picture" that surrounds decisions, but not as good at focusing on the details, you might want to consult colleagues and subordinates that are more detail-oriented when making major decisions. Cooperation between big-picture-oriented decision makers and detail-oriented decision makers can produce high quality decisions.
Developing intuitive decision-making skills:
Leaders with well-developed emotional self-awareness are more effective intuitive decision makers. In complex situations, intuitive decision makers process large amounts of sometimes unstructured and ambiguous data, and they choose a course of action based on a "gut feeling" or a "sense" of what's best. This type of decision making is becoming more important for managers as the rate of change and the levels of uncertainty and complexity in their competitive environments increase. Managers who are highly emotionally self-aware are better able to read their "gut feelings" and use them to guide decisions.
Jobs that don't suit our personality tend to give you more stress than jobs that are more compatible. This is not to say that you should never take a job that conflicts with our personality. However, be aware that you will need to work extra hard to develop the skills for that job, and there are jobs that would be less stressful for you.
It's very difficult to cope with poor results when you don't understand what causes them. When you don't know what behaviors to change to improve our performance, you just feel helpless. Self-awareness is empowering because it can reveal where the performance problems are and indicate what can be done to improve performance. In addition, awareness of our psychological needs can increase our motivation by helping you understand and seek out the rewards that you really desire such as a sense of accomplishment, additional responsibility, an opportunity to help others, or a flexible work schedule.
When we understand "what make us tick"--what gets us excited, why we behave the way we do, etc.--we also have insight into what makes others tick. To the extent that other people are like you (and, of course, there are limits to the similarity), knowing how to motivate ourself is tantamount to knowing how to motivate others.
According to the world personality test I am a DOER that means that I am quite resourceful, someone who loves activity, is a good observer and is also good in negotiation and is also quite well in manipulation. This test also shows the characteristics that I resemble the most, those are: extroversion, Sensing and thinking, answering than perceiving. This means that as an extroversion I am attuned to things that are related to people and culture and make my decisions that are in congruent with demand and expectation to them. As an extrovert I'm an outgoing person, socially free, interested in variety and working with people but may become impatient with long, slow task and doesn't mind being interrupted by people.
The test also suggests that I prefer information that is concrete rather than a non-concrete piece of information. I believe in real and factual than in the mistrusting institution. As the sensing type I think carefully and use detail by detail accuracy rather than just finishing the work as a whole, also quite good at remembering facts and make few errors.
Thinking is also one of the qualities that this test has identified in me, as I tend to make my decisions based on the experiences faced by me in my life, occurrences, careful analysis of the situation, logic and not based on feelings and values. As a thinker I'll hurt other's feelings only thinking about wellbeing of the company as a whole and not of any particular individual.
As I always wanted to know more before deciding, this tells me that I'm a perceiver. As I tend to perceiver's holding off decisions and judgements makes him/her open, flexible, adaptive, non- judgemental and able to see all sides before making a decision. On the contrary I'm always open to welcoming new ideas and information about existing issues. But on the other hand it also tells that it makes me very indecisive and noncommittal, as I become involved in so many tasks that I cannot finish at times and as result become frustrated, and even when I finish tasks I wonder if could have been done some other way, because of this I tend to roll with life rather than change it.
Another test known as the leverage our personality test tells me that I'm ISTJ (Introverted Sensing Thinking Judging). According to this test ISTJs are often called inspectors as they have a keen sense of right and wrong, especially in their area of interest. They are noted for their devotion to duty and are very punctual. These kind of people are suited for jobs like secretary, clerk or businessman, whom others follow.
These kind of people give an initial impression of being cold, effusive expression of emotional warmth is not their style until considerable energy loss is involved. People like me perform at their highest efficiency when employing a step-by-step approach. Once a new procedure has been proven we can carry it out through, even putting their health at risk.
ISTJs are very commitment oriented people and get frustrated if others fail to keep their commitments. Unless asked they tend to keep their feelings to themselves and are truth loving. Their grim determination helps of the ISTJs helps them to win in sports events, judiciary functions and other situations that require tough calls and sticking to them.
ISTJs rather stick to old methods that have been tried and tested rather than new ways of doing things. They put their investments into time honoured traditions like banks and other established organizations.
It's oriented towards the world of generics. Time is set as a standard to which all other events are held, for them every object should have certain qualities that others must be compared to. Introverted sensors are drawn more to the measure of the concept rather than the experience of that perception.
ISTJs have a few forms that are tried and tested which they change very- very rarely but works for most occasions.
This feeling makes the person feel that all is finished and there is no use living. So if something goes wrong (of which they have a fear in their mind), they come out loud and say "I knew this was going to happen" or "one day everyone has to die then why not die sooner than later".
This is basically based on the perception of their most horrible incidences, it may only be one but they end up fearing it for the rest of their lives. E.g. if they invest in any banking operation and the bank turns out to be a fraud then they will fear putting their money into banking activities for the rest of their lives.
George H.W. Bush
Paul Coverdale (U.S. Senator, R-GA)
Jackie joyner-Kersee (U.S. Olympic athlete)
According to the results the intended occupations are the ones which involves clear-cut planning and responsibility of being an efficient worker. Good understanding of details and effective production process, good understanding of details, clear-cut planning such are the jobs that will be suitable for me and the jobs that have these qualities are military and police workers, engineers, auditors, lawyers, surgeons. Besides these, these qualities are found in the technology. Other than this job like project managers, mid-rank managers, department helping out organisations analyse the way they are working and tell them what).head will also be suitable for me.
Jung Career indicator determines occupations areas in which ISTJs find themselves most fulfilled and content, are most successful, and therefore are most represented in.
These tests have really helped me to discover myself more and also to discover some part of me that, before taking the tests I didn't even know existed. These tests have not only helped me to know myself better but also to find the right kind and suitable kind of work for me. Things such as I'm very analytical and have the right amount of patience to carry out job like joining the military services and serve my country (one area I have never looked before), also these tests tell that I have very good observation skills and that can help me in the field of business analyst (which is one of the fields I was looking forward to work for).
These tests have influenced my career more as now I have a wider field of options available, which previously I had never thought of and now since they are available I'm thinking of trying them out as I never thought of them, and now that my qualities have been found suitable for these kind of jobs, I feel like someone to whom many new roads have been opened.
As now I have a good understanding of my strengths and weaknesses, now I know how to put together the things I'm good at and my weaknesses to my benefit. As the tests show that I'll become a business analyst and that was one of the fields that I was looking to work for.
the companies that were in my mind for the job of business analyst require people with experience and since I hardly have any experience therefore it's quite difficult to get my desired job and therefore, I looked at the posts of business analyst and found that if I want to get the job then I must work and earn my way up to the post of an analyst.