Self-aware leaders bring mindfulness, compassion and empathy to their interactions. Whether you are leading at home, at work, or in the community awareness is key to effective communication. It allows us to attune to what is happening in our inner dialogue as well as what is happening in the environment around us. This provides us with a higher level of social awareness as well as an emotional literacy whereby we can identify and process our own emotional states as well as empathize with the emotional states of others. Beyond being crucial to effective communication in the workplace, awareness of self and others is seen as a core leadership quality.
Increased awareness brings insight and understanding both of the self and others. Self-aware people have developed a sophisticated sense of their own emotional range, take responsibility for their actions and impact, are clear about boundaries, and can self-manage in difficult situations. This helps us tolerate workplace frustrations and navigate conflict, reduces stress, and makes us less impulsive and argumentative. As our awareness expands, we are able to put aside self-centredness and see and understand the perspectives of others. We become more naturally curious and openminded. This leads to increased empathy, allowing us to see past differences and find common ground – which is more important than ever given the diverse, global nature of most workplaces.
These days, daily life itself is challenging and we need more tools than ever before to help us maintain equilibrium and thrive, even in adverse circumstances. Journalling is a simple practice that can help provide clarity, offer refuge, and expand our level of self-understanding. I use mine for everything from idea generation to venting, and find that daily introspection provides solace and grounding.
Recently, I was invited to be a guest on the Surviving to Thriving podcast with Kathy Archer of Silver River Coaching. We took a deep dive into the many ways journalling can be used as a tool for leaders. Much of what we discussed can be applied to anyone in any walk of life. We offer three key insights, but honestly we cover so much more! It was a delight to roam widely in this conversation with Kathy. Please do take a listen!
Do you journal? How does it support your goals? Would love to hear from you in the comments.
Note: Portions of this blog were excerpted from my book Effective Communication at Work (Rockridge Press 2020)