Self-awareness is the honest understanding of one’s own emotions, values, motivation, goals, and strength and weaknesses. Self-awareness allows us to understands these things while knowing what causes them and how we react to them. Leaders who have self-awareness are able to mange their behavior, improve with communication and interactions, and increase their influence on the team members. The more a leader is self-aware the more influential they will be with their team which leads to better performance from the team they lead.
Self-awareness leaders will demonstrate empathy and compassion. They can really relate to others emotions and are genuinely concerned about others. Leaders are role
models. They inspire and encourage others to accomplish something of value and to make a difference in others people’s lives. Leaders able to face challenging events and will come up with solutions to fix the challenging events while staying calm and cool throughout the situation (Knight, n.d).
I see this day in and day out at my hospital, as we are in the process of remodeling and improving patient safety. The contractors that are working in our hospital know that we are on a time schedule but appeared to not understand or don’t care. But we as mangers and leaders are holding them accountable for every day that they do accomplish the work that we have been told that will be done. I, myself, do notice that I am firmer with them than my administration is. I am firm because I manage a psychiatry unit and I actually am seeing what is and is not being done on the floor. Patient safety is my main concern along with staff and their safety. Some of the contractors actually get that they are in psychiatry department but some do not and do not consider the safety of the unit.
Huber discusses personal leadership skills that are important for all great leaders to possess including self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management (Huber, 2014). An active leader is also flexible, empathetic, and understands multiple leadership skills. These leadership skills include having emotional intelligence and the ability to understand it in others. The skills are essential concepts to understand and master to become not only a leader but also a nursing leader (Huber, 2014). Self-awareness, an element of emotional intelligence, is when a person can understand own feelings and emotions and how these emotions can influence and affect those around them (Huber, 2014). Working as a nurse leader self-awareness means to be aware and understand how own attitude and emotions can influence and affect the employees that one is leading.
It means knowing own values, personality, needs, habits, emotions, strengths, weaknesses. To become more self-aware, we should develop an understanding of ourselves in many areas. Critical areas for self-awareness include our personality traits, personal values, habits, emotions, and the psychological needs that drive our behaviors. Individual leaders who can regulate their own emotions are better equipped to provide a holding environment for the people who work for and with them, creating a culture where people feel at ease.
In our highly competitive culture, this might seem counterintuitive. In fact, many of us operate on the belief that we must appear as though we know everything all the time or else people will question our abilities, diminishing our effectiveness as leaders. If one is honest with self, one admits that the opposite is true. Because whether one acknowledges own weaknesses or not, everyone still sees them. So rather than conceal them, the person who tries to hide weaknesses openly states them, for example by telling “I do not know. How have you done it in here?”
Self-awareness helps managers identify gaps in their management skills, which promotes skill development. However, self-awareness also helps managers find situations in which they will be most effective, assists with intuitive decision making, and aids stress management and motivation of oneself and others.