USE SELF-AWARENESS TO THRIVE IN THE MARKETPLACE
There is no man that is an island, and there is no man that is perfect. But to thrive in the marketplace, prioritizing self-awareness becomes imperative. In the marketplace, you will need to work with people to get things done. I shall recommend paying attention to a couple of attributes that will help you become more self-aware and effective in the marketplace.
Put simply, self-awareness is identifying and acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses, reflecting on same and using the information to become a better person. It entails understanding how you are wired and how to conquer or avoid shortcomings that may hinder your progress or enable you take advantage of opportunities that open in the marketplace.
Life is a learning process and so should your journey in the marketplace. Self-awareness is a tool business leaders can use to thrive in the marketplace, and here is how.
BE INTENTIONAL ABOUT BEING SELF-AWARE
In your long journey to becoming more self-aware, you will overcome several challenges. The comfort zone is one of them. It always looks safer and involves less risk, so people tend to want to remain here. The status quo, comfort zone, experience and previous success stories for example can fuel egos to the point of ignoring obvious signs that needs to be analysed. It is in situations such as this that you begin to ask questions, collaborate with people and become a better team player, team leader, manager, or business owner.
No man can learn anything new if he decides he already knows it all. Think of a successful business owner that has been running successful financial institutions from the early 70’s to this present time. And he is being advised by his direct reports that the frontlines are recommending the institution move from traditional banking services and products only to include Cryptocurrency in its mix of products and services. He has two options; rein in his ego and listen or dismiss the idea because he sees Cryptocurrency as a fad.
It is self-awareness that makes a successful business owner say “hang on, if I am not in series of meetings, I am in my office reading The Financial Times or on my boat playing golf. I need to pay attention to people that interact with thousands of our customers daily.”
STRIKE THE BALANCE BETWEEN HUMILITY & CONFIDENCE
Humility and confidence are often seen as two opposing traits that only people intentional about getting better at self-awareness can balance. You do not want to be the extreme of either. You might end up being a pushover or push away capable hands from working with you. There is a thin line between confidence and pride. Staying with the same example, balancing both “seemingly” opposing traits is like the business owner acknowledging he knows little about the topic and promises to investigate it (unbiased) and make a judgement call.
Balancing both attributes also make one a valuable team player. There is no one person that can build anything significant alone. If you do not address your self-awareness gap, you will find yourself blaming others all the time for failed projects without even bothering to look within. You will feel entitled and become cantankerous. Still staying with the same example, imagine the business owner simply because he/she fails to take responsibility, convinces him/herself that frequent resignations are happening because “the youths these days are indolent” as opposed to getting to the root cause of the problem. People may be disengaged due to lack of clarity in roles and company culture not encouraging innovation.
Finally, start practicing being self-aware. You will not get better at being self-aware simply by reading this article and many more articles about the topic. Take notes, be mindful of what triggers you, what comes natural to you. What areas you will need to pay attention to, get better at, or delegate to others who can get the task done better. The good news is that whatever you want to be better at, it only takes practice. And there is not a better time to start but now.