Have you ever thought back to an argument you’ve had with a friend and wondered if you should have approached it differently? Or considered how your good studying habits led to a higher grade? This process of looking back at your behavior, actions, and motives is called self-reflection. And it’s a critical part of growing your self and social awareness skills. To be aware of our strengths and weaknesses, we need to reflect on—or think about—what’s working or not in our lives. Then, we can make a plan to address weaker areas in the future.
To start using self-reflection in this course and beyond, you can ask yourself a few simple questions (and answer them honestly).
But self-reflection is only part of developing your self- and social awareness skills. You also need to spend time with others. By observing and engaging people with different perspectives, you’ll have a better understanding of their strengths, weaknesses, and needs and can more effectively collaborate with them because you will understand their values and thought processes better.
In another example, imagine you work at Poodle Jumper. You and several of your coworkers are having a collaborative brainstorming session regarding how to improve customer satisfaction. One of your strengths is on-the-spot idea generation, and you don't shy away from vocalizing possible solutions. You notice, however, that your coworker Dina isn't chiming in. After observing her behavior and reflecting on your own, you consider the importance of not jumping to conclusions about Dina’s behavior. You remember that Dina was engaged and interested in the session but didn’t seem as comfortable speaking up. You realize that Dina might need time to process the brainstorming session to contemplate the issue and offer her ideas. So you reach out to Dina after the session is over to see if there are any points she'd like to add.
By using self-reflection and observation, you’re practicing self- and social awareness, which will improve your collaboration with Dina and help you work successfully.
When employees don’t understand or utilize their self- and social awareness skills, it can cause challenges in any career field. Employees who are not self- and socially aware aren’t able to work well with others in the face of adversity. And, they often allow their emotions and shortcomings to cloud their judgment. Instead of working to improve their weaknesses, they remain stagnant and may be passed over for promotions and other opportunities.
If you can hone and strengthen your self- and social awareness, you’ll be more professionally attractive to future employers, and you’ll be a stronger coworker and team member. You’ll also know when to advocate for your strengths and when to seek out professional development or training to combat your weaknesses. And no matter what career you pursue, you’ll continue to stay competitive in our changing world.
In the next section, we’ll dive into the second skill, Technology, and why your mindset is more important for this skill than you may think.
Source: Chowdhury, M.R. (October 25, 2019). 5 Health Benefits of Daily Meditation According to Science. Retrieved from https://positivepsychology.com/benefits-of-meditation/