Aristotle once said, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” The relationship with yourself is one of the most important relationships in your life.

I decided to study some of the hundreds of references we have received to better learn why some candidate’s references stand out over others. The stand-out’s references can give us full detail on the candidate including what they were responsible for, how they communicate, what their weaknesses are and so much more. The candidates that match up to these references are often the ones that, when you share what others say about them, they are appreciative, yet humble and when mentioning a weakness, they do not get defensive.

Those of you that have done assessments before know they are revealing, often exposing who you are to others before the person even gets to know you. When showing your assessment results to a significant other or family member that does know you, they immediately comment at how accurate the results are and often will even say that they have been trying to tell you about one of your tendencies for years but you did not believe.

Mixed emotions often accompany assessment results. Acceptance to the results only comes with the ability to know and accept who you are. In order to successfully grow your career, not only do you need self-awareness, you also need a willingness to improve in areas that may not come naturally to you, but will benefit your relationships with others.

An Estimator or Accountant may have been hired by a company due to their accuracy, challenge and stability yet their struggle with collaboration, enthusiasm and results could prevent them from opportunities to advance within the organization or elsewhere. Take a look at the career progression of an estimator. As you move from a junior estimator to senior and executive level your job moves from doing tasks to support your department to more collaboration with other departments and clients while gaining the responsibility of leading your team and others to meet deadlines and expectations.

Self-awareness is a conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires.

How do you get to know yourself better as it relates to improving your career? You may choose to invest the time and money to take an assessment like the DiSC Profile. The report will not only show you your priority scales, but it will list your motivators and stressors and share with you ways to better communicate with others that have different priority scales.

My top priority scales include results, action and challenge. I look back to the years in my early career thankful for self-awareness in learning how to better control my emotions, comments and overall approach to things when others may not be motivated by results or have thought through the process before taking on the challenge.

Every team needs a mix of people with all eight priority scales; results, action, enthusiasm, collaboration, support, stability, accuracy and challenge. The result driven individuals will drive the team to the finish line while those people may lack the accuracy and collaborative ability to assemble all for the ultimate result.

Self- awareness is important because when we have a better understanding of ourselves, we are able to experience ourselves as unique and separate individuals. We are then empowered to make changes and to build on our areas of strength as well as identify areas where we would like to make improvements.

How do you develop self-awareness in the workplace?

  1. Slow down to think.
  2. Write down your plans and priorities.
  3. Take assessment tests.
  4. Ask people that know you best.
  5. Get regular feedback from the people you work with.

In order to be successful at developing self-awareness, remove denial and dilution from your thought process. Nobody in the workplace is a perfect ten and if you are doing your job effectively you won’t need to give yourself accolades to feel appreciated or valued. Others will naturally appreciate and encourage you, each in their own way.

The workplace is getting more and more competitive. A good balance of all priority scales is needed to succeed. Do you know yourself? Take time to discover who you are. You will grow on yourself and bond better with others.

“The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.” ― Pema Chödrön

To the Self-Awareness in You,

Suzanne Breistol

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