Skill Building Series: Can’t Change What You Can’t See

Self awareness is the foundation of any powerful / successful leader. We are not often given the time nor opportunity to increase our self awareness.

In this world of action and results – who has time for reflection?

You do! That is, if you want to improve your leadership skills. You can not change that which you are not aware.

That is what Brian discovered after the reviewing the results of his recent 360 feedback survey. It wasn’t just one thing that needed to change, it was a lot of little things. What surprised Brian the most, was that he wasn’t even aware of his behaviors, let alone their impact.

Path Forward: Awareness is the first step to change.

Not knowing where to start, I challenged Brian to take a look at himself and his behaviors. My directions were simple:

Start with a simple behavior that you want to change. Maybe it’s the amount of time you spend on unproductive internet activities (facebook, checking emails every 5 minutes); maybe it’s the unconscious routine of your workday morning (shower, dress, coffee, traffic, email, coffee, email, coffee…). Or maybe it’s the way to interact with our staff. Whatever it is, select one thing, one behavior.

  • how many times do you check your email in a day?
  • how many times do you check your social network?
  • how many cups of coffee do you drink?
  • how many times do you say no to your employees / kids / partner?
  • how many times do you judge your coworker’s ideas before you even read or listen to them?
  • how many times do you go into a meeting already having made a decision?
  • how many times have you motivated your employees?
  • how many times have you asked for ideas and input from the team?

Take Action: Tap Into Your Sherlock Holmes.

Once Brian identified the behavior he wanted to change first, I asked him to observe that behavior for 2 weeks. Observe –  what, when, why, how, who, where, your feelings, the context of that behavior, the reactions of others, what happens just before / after – whatever he could.

Document what you observe! During the 2 week observation, Brian will write down all observations in as much detail as possible – as the behavior happens.

Your Turn.

Tap into your Sherlock Holmes by collecting the clues, the data, the information. I dare you to do a bit of self observation – you may be surprised!

I can guarantee that the simple act of observing and documenting your behavior will change it. But don’t think that’s the end. Next time we’ll dive a bit deeper into what you’ve discovered. Your Sherlock Holmes isn’t done yet!



About The Skill Building Series

The anywhere worker is designing, building, and leading the future of anywhere work. There are many skills needed to be successful as an anywhere leader. In this serious, we will meet several virtual / anywhere leaders who have sought coaching. In each session we look at the presenting problem, the desired outcome, and an action plan. Not surprising is the need for these skills in any leader – anywhere.

I may have changed the names (to protect the clients) but the situations presented are very real. Don’t be surprised if you see yourself in any of these scenarios.