On the borderline that separates good managers from true leaders, stands a gate marked “self-awareness.”
And the advice offered by the guardian of this gate is: “stop being what someone else has told you to be, and start being yourself.”
Through it will pass those individuals who will go on to help their companies deliver significant financial outperformance, while assuring themselves more fulfilling careers.
That’s the conclusion of a survey by recruitment provider Korn/Ferry International. A 2013 survey of almost 7,000 executives found that those in companies with a strong rate of return were far less likely to have personal “blind spots” than those in weaker performers.
In fact employees of weaker companies were 79 percent more likely to have low overall self-awareness, concluded the survey “A Better Return on Self-Awareness.”
So addressing blind sports by enhancing self-awareness isn’t just good for the executive – it’s good for business. The ability to recognise and understand moods, emotions and drives – is a hallmark of leaders driving delivering competitive advantage.
The role that emotions play in business decisions has long been recognized – but now it’s being quantified and analysed.
Another survey, by the Fortune Knowledge Group and consultants gyro, in 2014 polled 720 senior US executives, mostly in companies with more than US$500 million annual revenues.
The survey found that 62% of respondents says they “trust their gut” when evaluating decisions.
Asked whether they regularly used emotional insight to enhance their interpretation of objective data, 61% agreed.
And nearly two thirds of respondents said that subjective grounds or “human factors” increasingly make a difference to decision-making.
This survey concurs with Korn/Ferry’s survey that self-awareness and emotional intelligence are important success factors. “Executives are ultimately less analytical and more emotional,” concludes Fortune Knowledge Group’s “The Emotional Logic of Business Decisions.”
While both studies emphasise the importance of intangibles and “soft factors” in executive development and successful decision-making, the path to this prized self-awareness remains tantalisingly opaque.
While traditional tools such as coaching supported by regular 360-degree performance appraisals clearly help employees to better understand themselves and eliminate blind spots, from the client’s perspective the process can seem time-consuming and expensive.
One contributing factor is precisely that emotional factors and other components of self-awareness are often accepted as intangibles – making them harder to visualise or to grasp intuitively.
Like any journey, the road toward self-awareness is easier for those equipped with a map showing their starting-position. For coaches who help clients make choices about their destination and serve as guides, a map that projects the client’s strengths, blind-spots and communicative persona is an important asset.
That’s why Communicate Charisma offers a suite of diagnostic tools that help executives on the journey of leadership development, by providing their coaches with insightful maps and charts. These intuitive, easy-to-grasp projections show both the seven dimensional Essence Profile, and the two dimensional Projection Profile. Each client has a unique mix of emotional factors that determine how he or she is experienced by others.
Clients create a personal “snapshot” or MRI image of their communicative persona by completing a simple online test. This delivers a detailed Self-Assessment Report affording rich insights to aid the coaching process toward greater self-awareness.
Communicate Charisma’s tools can, for example, help users discover when and if “trusting their gut” actually means allowing themselves to be influenced by another’s persona. And, vice versa, to discover what it takes to project personal charisma in such a way that those on the other side of the table will “trust their gut” to favour a client.
We believe that passing through the “self-awareness gateway” is a laudable goal – and that everyone who tries it should give themselves the best possible chanceof success.
At Communicate Charisma we teach people how to become more engaging and effective communicators. In our Charisma Dimensions workshops, we use practical exercises coupled with our bespoke self-awareness tools to allow participants to understand and experience the impact of individual personality traits on how we are perceived by others. Together, we use these insights to develop a more effective and authentic personal style, and so raise our power of influence and communications mastery.