The Importance of Self-Awareness for Effective Leadership

Many of us have come across managers and colleagues who displayed an amazing ability to ignore or be completely oblivious about their impact on other people. Such people often find themselves in a situation where they either feel misunderstood, frustrated about their inability to get things done, or they may not even realise that people around them either ignore them or do not cooperate with them. It can be quite fascinating to observe such people, unless of course you are caught up in the fall-out! 

Why Do Some Leaders Lack Self-Awareness?

It becomes particularly fascinating when you consider that self-awareness is considered one of the most important leadership traits. We have all heard the theory that people join companies but leave because of their manager, and according to a survey by The Predictive Index of more than 5,000 employees, 99.9% of employees felt that good managers are self-aware. Effective leaders practice situational leadership where they assert themselves differently depending on the circumstances and the people involved. This requires awareness of the people they work with but, in particular, awareness of their own natural behavioral tendencies.

How Do Effective Leaders Become Self-Aware?

Is self-awareness something you are born with or is it rather a skill you can learn? In this context, it is important to remember that leadership is not necessarily a matter of having many people reporting to you, it starts with leadership of one self. In other words, being self-aware is a major driver of success in life irrespective of whether you are a senior executive in a large organisation or a young energetic graduate. You may think that everybody would understand their innate motivational drives and natural strengths intuitively, but studies show that 95% of people think they are self-aware but only 10 to 15% actually are! So there is definitely room for improvement.

Use PI to Increase Your Self-Awareness

Scientifically validated psychometric assessment tools like The PI Behavioral Assessment can be extremely valuable in facilitating self-reflection. You will not only learn to understand your own innate motivational drives and needs as well as your natural strengths –  you will also get an objective outside view of how you may be perceived by others. This insight can be enlightening or even thought-provoking, depending on your current level of self-awareness. Having this knowledge is a great starting point for you to reflect on when it might be beneficial for you – and those around you – that you learn to adjust your natural behaviour. As a manager, knowing the motivational drives of the people on your team will also help you to adjust your leadership style to accommodate their needs which will likely increase their engagement as well as their productivity. The Management Strategy Guide report which can be pulled from PI Software is a great place to start if you would like some tips on how to manage the different individuals that report to you. 


Join us for a LinkedIn Live Event on March 31st at 10:30 CEST where we will talk more about the importance of self-awareness in the workplace, especially for effective leadership. Attending the live event is free of charge – register HERE


Are you an HR Professional looking to get maximum value from the PI tools in your day-to-day work with developing managers or employees? If you are already certified in PI, you qualify for our next-level PI workshop ‘INSPIRE ADVANCED‘ where you will learn to apply the PI tools for leadership and personal development. Read more about the workshop HERE. We also offer next-level workshops on using PI for recruitment and to to run team sessions, and of course our full Predictive Index Seminars if you are not yet certified in PI. Find course dates HERE


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