Self-awareness gets placed in the same pool with spirituality. What most people don’t know is it’s one of the most valuable leadership competencies. What is self-awareness? It is the consciousness of one’s feelings and character. In a leadership context, it entails knowing what you’re good at and the areas that require improvement. At its best, it includes owning up to mistakes and having the courage to say ‘I don’t know.’

In any area of leadership, being self-aware is seen perceived to be a sign of weakness. It is assumed that if someone in a managerial position were to admit not knowing something, one's competence could be in question. Once this happens, the leader's ability to be effective in their role would get diminished.

However, in the real world, the opposite is true. That is because that whether or not you admit your flaws, people are always aware of them. Concealing our flawed ways always ends up highlighting them. It also creates the perception that one lacks integrity as well as self-awareness- the very thing they require.

Benefits of self-awareness
Taking responsibility for what you know and don’t know has great benefits for yourself and the organization. First off, knowing what you’re good at allows you to maximize your strengths. Continuous practice of skill and implementation of knowledge sets you apart from other leaders. No single person is born great at anything; you’re able to find ways to improve what you’re already good at.

Being aware of your weakness allows you to do two things. The first one is to work on them. If you have anger management issue or tend to micromanage, you can find ways to mitigate and eliminate these negative traits. The other thing is you could delegate. As a team leader, you can get the best minds to help you with tasks.

Admitting that you’re not good at something encourages others within the organization to do the same. It supports constant learning that breeds greater creativity and as a result, productiveness. Mistakes are not viewed as failures but as learning opportunities and the importance of asking for help.

A self-aware person also always asks for feedback. Depending on the organization, you can do this through peer, supervisor or anonymous reports. It doesn’t all have to be paperwork. You can casually ask someone by the coffee machine what they thought about the outcome of a decision you made.

Another way of getting feedback is by reflecting on your performance. An excellent place to start is looking at someone’s reaction; you managed others, sources of conflict, what risk paid off, etc. This last approach requires you to have a high degree emotional intelligence. Also referred to as EQ, it is the ability to note and manage your emotions and those of others. If you’re weak in this area, don’t worry, you can see it as another area of weakness that needs cultivating.

Ignorance doesn’t play off well in leadership roles. It doesn’t matter if you’re an entrepreneur or Toronto real estate lawyers, take leadership tests and training to understand your leadership style and how to get better to increase self-awareness.

Author's Bio: 

Marina is a renowned author and social media enthusiast.