There are a few people I interact with on a regular basis who inadvertently seem to drive others away in some way.
In one case the person seems to want to have friends and relationships but has great difficulty navigating the sometimes delicate intricacies of maintaining a friendship.
Another person has lost significant connections to business contacts and forfeited potentially thousands of dollars of income as a result.
In my own life I have said and done things I know have cost me in different ways.
On the flip side, I’ve witnessed people consistently handle relationships and stressful situations with grace and poise.
So what was the difference between these successful people and the others?
It may be several factors, but one I continually notice is the high level of self-awareness the successful people appear to have.
In order to be successful in your career it will eventually come down to how you handle your relationships with those you interact with.
Self-awareness is essential to navigating those relationships successfully.
Here are six ways to become a more self-aware person:
1. Self monitoring. Ask yourself what impact your behavior has on the people you interact with.
2. Getting Feedback. It can be scary, but asking for feedback from friends and family about how they see you show up in certain situations can be invaluable. We all have blind spots and there is just no way we’ll know the full impact we have on others unless we ask them.
3. Reading. You can learn how to be more self-aware by reading books like “How to Win Friends and Influence People” or “The Magic of Thinking Big”. These books act as a road map to provide principles you can apply to every situation.
4. Put yourself in others’ shoes. Empathy comes more naturally for certain personality types but having the ability to switch your viewpoint to how others may think is the secret sauce of self-awareness. Equivalent to writing upside down, if you can envision how someone else may be perceiving your actions and speech you will be able to self-monitor accordingly.
5. Observing others. Find a role model to pattern your behavior after, or maybe a combination of role models. It helps to be able to watch a self-aware person in action. Just look for someone in your life who seem to have the respect of everyone you know and who treats everyone graciously and with kindness.
6. Get a mentor. This is easier said than done, but if you can find someone to help guide you through your life and career you will achieve more than you thought you could. Preferably someone with great wisdom and tact who has led a successful life thus far.
Becoming self-aware is a gradual process, and not necessarily an easy one, but it will reward you abundantly in all areas of your life if you strive for continual improvement in this discipline.
Question: Have you noticed others who are self-aware? What impact does it have on their careers and lives?
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