Real Leaders Are Self-Aware

I listened intently as one of my executive leaders had to take a call from a key client. Evidently things had gone sideways and the client was frustrated and upset. With the skills of a hostage negotiator my friend was able to empathize, listen, understand and reassure. With a measured and sincere tone, he was able to put back on track the clients’ concerns.

I’ve witnessed before his high-level of self-awareness. Leaders with a high-degree of self-awareness recognize how their feelings and responses affect them, other people, and their job performance. Leaders with high self-awareness can work under tight deadlines and with demanding clients. They contain and manage ego impulses. Some of their personal mantras include:

* Calm * Personal
* Steady * Confident
* Reassuring * Understanding
* Pleasant * Candor

Key characteristics:

  • Leaders with self-awareness understand his or her values and personal beliefs. They don’t waiver. They can turn down short-term appointments that do not match their long-term goals and pursuits.
  • They practice candor and the ability to frankly discuss their strengths and weaknesses as a leader.
  • They recognize their emotions impact those they work with. They are not perfect, but they try their best to bring positivity and good moods to the workplace.
  • Self-aware leaders can also be recognized by their self-confidence. They have a strong sense of their capabilities and resist second guessing themselves. They move daily with bold attempts toward their desired outcomes.

It is your ability as a leader to recognize and understand your emotions and moods matter. You set a tone for each interaction. You can steer your emotions in a more intentional manner that inspires others and settles down frustrated clients or team members.

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I asked my coaching executive, “How did you handle that upset client so well?” His answer, “I always keep in mind these four words: calm, warmth, sincerity and confidence.”

Here’s to your self-awareness and personal success this week!

Steve Gutzler is the president of Leadership Quest, a Seattle based leadership development company. Steve is a dynamic, highly sought after speaker who has delivered over 2500 presentations, to a who’s who list of clients including, Pandora Radio, Microsoft, Starbucks, Boeing, Cisco, Starwood Corporation, U.S. Security Administration, and Oxford Financial to name just a few.

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