Self-Awareness and Leadership

Self-Awareness and Leadership

Table of Contents

Introduction. 3

Self-Awareness. 3

Relationship Between Self Awareness and Leadership. 3

How to develop our self-awareness. 4

Identifying the factors that trigger negative emotions. 4

Question your belief and opinion. 4

Meditate on your Mind. 5

Be keen on what bothers you about other people. 5

How to develop self-awareness as an effective manager managing a commercial organization. 6

Conclusion. 7

List of References. 8



Self-awareness entails being familiar with different aspects of oneself, such as emotions, traits, and behaviors. It enables people to recognize their strengths, flaws, motivators, triggers, and other negative or positive characteristics. Looking at one’s emotions, why an individual feels that way, and how one’s feelings materialize as reactions are part of becoming self-aware. Issah (2018) states that self-awareness keeps individuals anchored, sensitive, and focused. When leaders are anchored, they are likely to be objective and be aware of others around them more efficiently and purposefully. Leaders who can control their emotions and thoughts assist others in developing their self-awareness and success.

Relationship Between Self Awareness and Leadership

Numerous skills, personalities, and habits are required for success in various business areas. However, self-awareness is one critical characteristic of an effective leader that cuts across all industries. Black (2020) suggests that self-awareness enables leaders to profit from their strengths and still lean on employees in areas where they are lacking. It encourages a cooperative and collaborative workplace by instilling confidence among employees. Self-awareness is a skill that any corporation or leader should regularly cultivate as ongoing improvement. Because it establishes the framework for emotional and social intelligence, gaining emotional self-awareness is a starting point for effective leadership. It is impossible to learn skills like emotional empathy, self-control, or collaboration unless we understand our feelings and how they shape our thoughts and actions. Leaders can also use emotional self-awareness to tie their emotions to the success of their relationships with others (Rubens et al., 2018, pp.10). Leaders with self-awareness display various skills and behaviors that reflect their confidence in their own and others’ capabilities. A growth mindset, humility, leaning on others, letting others shine, looking from other perspectives, admitting mistakes, and moving on are all indications of a self-aware leader.

Self-aware leaders demonstrate confidence and vulnerability to their employees by identifying their talents, strengths, prejudices, faults, and areas for growth for progress. It serves as an example for the team when the leader can admit when they need assistance or help someone out. Self-aware leaders promote a business or organizational culture that focuses on progress and continuous innovation over individual interest. Such activities encourage collaboration, inspiration, and teamwork for future achievements. A study also discovered that self-awareness has a financial influence on businesses. The study found that organizations with great financial success have leaders with higher self-awareness than companies with poor financial performance (Issah, 2018). Self-aware leaders also encourage subordinates to develop more self-awareness which promotes teamwork and an organization’s performance.

How to develop our self-awareness

Most people know what they like or hate or what skills they possess. However, knowing the impacts of their thoughts and behaviors is a less traveled road. Self-awareness helps people deeply understand who they are and how they impact those around them. Idris & Suleiman (2021, pp.73) also reiterates that it enables individuals to understand their emotions and internal narrative, which leads to a fulfilling life. Many studies have examined ways to develop self-awareness, and most of them are scientifically proven to bring a proven.

Identifying the factors that trigger negative emotions

Identifying what causes you to be emotionally unstable can help you become more self-aware. When you understand the factors that trigger your bad feelings, you can be more selective of the situations, places, and people you interact. Rubens et al. (2018, pp.11) suggest that knowing your triggers enables you to be more aware of your reaction to your environment. To understand their triggers, individuals must examine every circumstance, person, or object that irritates their peace of mind. For instance, a person might say, “What made me feel horrible the other time? how did I react? Is this a regular situation I wish to experience?”. The person can then utilize this information to make informed decisions that lead to a peaceful life.

Question your belief and opinion

Challenging your beliefs and opinions is an excellent way of learning more about yourself. It helps you become more aware of your thoughts and the prejudices and habits that result from them. It is, however, essential to note that this is not about proving yourself wrong. Instead, it is about understanding that your beliefs and opinions may evolve—and allowing them to do so (Eurich, 2018, pp.19). Burgess (2022) states that questioning your beliefs and beliefs starts with identifying the origin of a particular opinion, determining if it is beneficial or not, and if it has any truth, which will allow assessment of thought patterns.

Meditate on your Mind

Meditation is the deliberate act of focusing on your breath or some other physics sensation and returning them to concentrate in case of thought wandering. Burgess (2022) states that meditation has been shown to reduce depression and weight loss and increase self-awareness. Mediation is a valuable and practical way to learn how your emotions and thoughts work. After practicing meditation for some time, people can observe their thoughts without thinking or attaching them to a specific idea. Meditation, according to Muhammad (2021, pp. 84), aids in the development of self-regulation, self-awareness, and a positive relationship with ourselves and others. This relationship promotes our empathy as well as our self-centered demands. Mediation is believed to be the quickest method of attaining self-awareness, as depicted in numerous researches due to various reasons. A study conducted by Rubens et al. (2018, pp.15) correlated with prior research suggesting that including meditation in a leadership development program can help leaders enhance their effectiveness more rapidly and with tremendous success. This is partly due to mindfulness’s role in increasing emotional self-awareness and its link to other emotional and social intelligence skills. The complementary relationship aids leaders in determining the type of behavior required for various situations and increases their capability to analyze whether such behaviors are productive.

Be keen on what bothers you about other people.

Most of the time, what annoys us about other people reflects the quality that we dislike ourselves. Therefore, identifying that quality helps us know which areas we still need improvement. Naturally, humans have a habit that they are not proud of, such as struggling to set boundaries, a tendency to lie, or avoiding conflict at all costs (Muhammad, 2021, pp.88). However, if you lack the know-how to recover from such behaviors, it is easy to live in denial or ignore them. So, when people depict such behaviors, we tend to be annoyed or feel bothered. Therefore, it is essential to assess yourself and find a way to help yourself critically.

How to develop self-awareness as an effective manager managing a commercial organization.

Learning self-awareness is not an easy journey, but it is essential if a person wants to be an effective manager in any commercial organization. The following are an example of how to develop self-awareness as a leader. Firstly, leaders can build self-awareness by being mindful of their weaknesses and strength. Individuals with self-awareness know their weaknesses and strength and may work from that space. For leaders, the realization helps them determine when they should seek help or solve a problem alone—after setting the boundaries, asking for honest opinions from employees can be vital in dispelling unrealism. Burgess (2022) suggests that while the principle of self-awareness is to understand yourself in the absence of outside influence, asking for genuine employee responses is beneficial. This allows you to realize your inherent biases toward yourself or others and obtain a more objective perspective. Secondly, the leader should stay focused. Highly concentrated on issues that matter is a crucial component of being a leader, but this is unachievable in the presence of distraction. Productivity can be improved by training to concentrate for extended periods without being a distraction. In addition, trusting one’s intuition is also vital. Issah (2018) states that successful people believe their intuition when making critical decisions. Your intuitions are stirred by the desire to succeed and the survival of the fittest. They will tell you what to do next; trust your instincts.

Thirdly, setting boundaries. Leaders must establish firm boundaries by being friendly to their colleagues but firm when necessary. Maintaining your boundaries and upholding the organization’s goals will be achievable if boundaries are set. Considering how your actions affect others is also essential in developing self-awareness. Typically, humans quickly act without first thinking and mainly focus on their interests (Rubens et al., 2018, pp. 16). Although self-awareness demands acknowledging your emotions, individuals must also ponder how they interact with them(emotions) and how their actions affect those within them. It will not be hard to dispel difficult situations if a leader respects others. If you have made a mistake asking for an apology is good regardless of your leadership role. Black (2020) suggests that humans are prone to error, and self-awareness makes people realize apologizing is correct. For example, after shouting at an employee, or giving wrong instructions that have led to confusion, the best approach is to apologize and stop the bad habit.


Self-awareness is a dynamic process. It’s a never-ending process of getting honest feedback, assessing one’s own emotions, behavior, biases, capabilities, and shortcomings, and attempting to harmonize them with a personal vision. Self-awareness is the aptitude to admit that you aren’t quite there yet but are progressing. Among the most fundamental skills for an effective leader is to have self-awareness. It is a crucial tool for fostering workplace harmony and collaboration. The emphasis on self-awareness will produce better leaders and also help the company as a whole.

List of References

Black, G., 2020. The Vital Connection of Self-Awareness to Ethical and Participative Leadership: In the Decision-Making Processes (Doctoral dissertation, Alliant International University).

Burgess, K., 2022. Leaders’ Self-Awareness Combined with Goal-Focused Actions and Perceptions of Followers’ Goal Achievements in Support of Organizational Objectives (Doctoral dissertation, Xavier University)

Eurich, T., 2018. What self-awareness is (and how to cultivate it). Harvard Business Review, pp.1-9.

Idris, A.D. and Suleiman, W., 2021. A Conceptual Review of Self Awareness, Relational Transparency, Internalized Moral Perspective, Balance Processing, and Task Performance. International Journal of Intellectual Discourse4(1), pp.67-79.

Issah, M., 2018. Change leadership: The role of emotional intelligence. Sage Open8(3), p.2158244018800910.

Muhammad, H.B.R., 2021. Is Self-Awareness needed in Leadership?. In Студенческое самоуправление как инновационный ресурс развития общества (pp. 83-89).

Rubens, A., Schoenfeld, G.A., Schaffer, B.S. and Leah, J.S., 2018. Self-awareness and leadership: Developing an individual strategic professional development plan in an MBA leadership course. The International Journal of Management Education16(1), 1-13.

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