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In my previous article, I defined Self-awareness as “identifying and acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses, reflecting on same and using the information to become a better person.” I cannot emphasize how important being self-aware is particularly as you cannot build anything significant or impactful without collaborating with people.   
Being self-aware, that is, being curious, having frequent self-reflection, soliciting feedback, and listening more has enabled entrepreneurs, leaders and managers in organisations leapfrog their peers. I recall when Elon musk warmly welcomed feedback on one of his projects. It was a joy to watch. Not only that, but he also acknowledged publicly that the individual was right, and he would have to return to the drawing board to make changes. Elon displayed a form of self-awareness there by being humble enough to listen and welcome feedback.  

Being self-aware is a super-power and embracing that component of emotional intelligence will be beneficial in the long-term. Let me share a few benefits on why you should invest in becoming better at self-awareness. 
As a leader tasked with the responsibility of leading change, or as a manager facing the daily rigors of managing people, you will become mindful of how your style impacts, and you are able to adjust or double down if necessary. It is someone who regularly does self-reflection that realises that he/she needs to pay more attention to being empathetic while balancing the execution of deliverables. You become a better man manager and team player. 

Skills also improve overtime. Self-aware people are confident about their abilities and humble enough to admit their shortcomings. So, they continue to maximize their strengths and work on improving what they struggle with. With time they either master the new skills that was a weakness or learn to delegate that task to someone else. Either way, they become better at both instances. 

Now, self-awareness is not just about identifying strengths and weaknesses. It is about identifying and working on them to take advantage of opportunities to be a better person. Because there are people that know where they come up short but are unwilling to address it. Ever heard “this is who I am, take it or leave it’? A project manager that does not function well under pressure must ensure processes are in place to avoid or tackle backlogs, build resilience, learn to trust people more, and delegate often. That is how relationships are built in the workplace. What you give, you get back. It is not going to be easy as our ego will come in the way, but it is a small price to pay for reduced stress, cohesive team, and brighter career prospects. But how do you close the self-awareness gap? 


If you are reading this and you are a Nigerian like me, you will know a platform called Twitter where every day, you will get excess doze of negativity about my country by fellow citizens. You know that someone who cannot find anything positive to say or takes pleasure pointing out all the possibilities of failure. I published an article last week about quiet quitting and how it had degenerated to a war of words and blame game between two generations. But a self-aware person will take a different approach like carrying out a thorough reflection, acknowledge the uniqueness of each generation, and ask how work can be made more manageable and more equitable for everyone. The curious mind will ask the right questions and see what role they can play in making things better. 

When you become self-aware, you intentionally sidestep confirmation bias. I earlier mentioned Elon Musk and how he received feedback. But others allow confirmation bias to get in the way such that in digging for the truth, people tend to look for and believe evidence that confirms only their bias; what they want to hear. In the context of self-awareness, it is tantamount to confiding in people on the same camp, same background, or belief system. If you are to close the divide and become more self-aware, you need to practice being objective and listen more to learn other perspectives. Do not be too hard on yourself but be objective. You can start by filling this self-assessment form and we shall get back to you. 

Finally, keep working on your strengths. That stuff that comes natural to you. What some people define as a “calling.” It is what you have been equipped with for impact and to fulfil your purpose. You will be better for it, and everyone around you too.