"And there’s the crux of searching for self-awareness: Do we embrace the “ignorance is bliss” adage when a bright light shines on our flaws? Do we simply escape the reality of who WE are and let the tides of the day carry us adrift? Or we do face ourselves and move onward towards a path that allows us to reinvent ourselves to embrace our best, truest selves, regardless of how painful it may be at times?" Paul Jun - writer and author
We continue our journey through EACH SERVANT LEADERSHIP competency Robert Greenleaf identified. This week we discuss SELF-Awareness.
If you've been a follower of this blog you know, I believe SELF-Awareness is the starting point. The starting point to being a good FILL-IN-THE-BLANK - citizen, friend, partner, parent, associate, lead, manager and leader. Some of the blogs focused on SELF-Awareness:
Questions to Uncover YOUR Calling / Purpose / Why...
Greenleaf also believed in the importance of SELF-Awareness - as it is one of the foundational competencies of servant leadership. So let's delve into SELF-Awareness and its place in servant leadership.
Greenleaf shared, "Servant-Leaders seek awareness at all levels and particularly in issues involving ethics, power, and values." He went on, “Awareness is not a giver of solace — it's just the opposite. It's a disturber and an awakener. Able leaders are usually sharply awake and reasonably disturbed. They are not seekers after solace. They have their own inner serenity.”
The purpose of SELF-awareness, from Greenleaf’s servant leadership perspective, "...is to fulfill the needs of others and to persuade those being led toward the common good." So, this journey begins with SELF-awareness and can only be charted when we successfully answer questions like: “Who am I?” "What's my 'WHYering'?" “Why am I here?” “Where am I going?” “How will I get there?” etc.
As we become more aware of SELF, we will be in a position to be more effective at serving / leading others.
How to Go From "Disturbed" to "Awakened"...
Here are some common everyday challenges that test our ability to completely lean into who we are:
Accelerated pace of change.
Being treated with no or little respect.
Diversity - macro and micro.
Economic (i.e. need to make a living).
Lack of knowledge.
Parenting a children, or parent and/or being the child of your own parents.
Pressures of the workforce.
Relationships - single or coupled.
Self esteem - especially in times of stress and tension.
So, with all that "life" going on, it's important to be able to NAME! CLAIM! & AIM! your way toward SELF-awareness!
NAME! Objective: Identify your gifts, talents, and strengths (AKA themes) and put them to words (themes) that resonate and are core to you.
CLAIM! Objective: Appreciate the power and opportunities your dominant themes give you and help you accept responsibility for developing them.
AIM! Objective: Intentionally invest in the development of your themes by identifying specific actions to "flex" them to accomplish goals, reach desired outcomes, and better respond to situations that happen every day.
To Help...Perhaps a Window Into Yourself - The Johari Window...
The Johari Window is a relationship model that describes how you interact with others. It's a four pane window originally developed by two psychologists, Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham (JOE+HARRY = Johari).
The four panes, represent:
Servant Leaders Are Driven to Correct Things That are Wrong
Servant leaders, as Greenleaf notes, are “servants first,” as opposed to “leaders first,” - "...the true servant leader cannot ignore what is broken." Whether with him/her self or his/her team, he/she will not hope a situation resolves itself. He/she will proactively reach out to serve, authentically listen, observe, and eventually point out specific, observable behaviors or outcomes that fall short of desired performance. The attitude of the servant leader is not “YOU have a problem!” Rather, it's “I want you to succeed…HOW can I help?”
Awareness That Something Needs to Be Done
Awareness of others is not one-dimensional. As noted, when servant leaders become aware of a problem, issue, bottleneck, etc., they can't sit on it. Instead, they actively engage those they lead and apply appropriate aspects of servant leader competencies as a means of development. (Look for the next blog - PERSUASION...ON Purpose!)
Ideally, this drive toward awareness also means the servant leader will be and is prepared to look inward and address their own opportunities for development.
So, What Areas Should You Strive to Identify to Become SELF-Aware?
The journey toward SELF-awareness begins with an open mind and a willingness to be vulnerable. As discussed in the previous blog, we fear vulnerability since we worry others may perceive us as push-overs or weak. To the contrary. "Vulnerability helps us connect with others, since it communicates we’re human; complete with our own weaknesses, hurts, and fears. This creates a feeling of “sameness” and gives the other something to connect." according to Brené Brown- who has spent the past sixteen years studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy and is the author of three #1 New York Times bestsellers – The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, and Rising Strong.
Put simply: don’t be afraid to ask for help. Asking for help shows vulnerability, and vulnerability often leads to that greater sense of connection, relation, and in this case, SELF-awareness.
The late, great Maya Angelou once said that, “When you know better, you do better.” SELF-Awareness, in many ways, is a journey. Be disciplined, open, reflective, and anchored and those you serve will be fortunate to have you looking out for them!
My best to your quest!
I believe each of us is a gift. I create trusted relationships where individuals, teams and leaders NAME, CLAIM and AIM their gifts to achieve optimum performance.
Interested to Learn About Yourself or Your Team? Mark is a Certified CliftonStrengths Coach, Facet5 and TotalSDI Facilitator and happy to discuss your situation.
SEE Summary List of Other Blogs!
About Mark Myette
I believe each of us is a gift. I create trusted
Based out Roam - Buckhead - 3365 Piedmont Rd NE, Suite 1400 (2nd Floor), Atlanta, GA 30305
Can meet at other Roam locations if appropriate: Alpharetta; Dunwoody; or Galleria