“What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality. -Plutarch”

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The recently-released AGR Development Survey cited self-awareness as one of the key skills the report recommended for development, particularly since it seems to be so lacking in today’s emerging talent. The survey revealed that 45.1% of employers surveyed have had graduates leave their roles for a career change. Not only that, but self-awareness was by far the largest skills gap observed in graduates entering the workplace.

What are the benefits of self-awareness in the workplace?

– Greater employee retention – As the AGR report demonstrated so clearly, employees who are truly aware of their skills and behaviours are far more likely to stay within an organisation they feel is right for them.

– Better internal communications – Employees who are self-aware are far more conscious of the effects their behaviour has on others, and can adapt it to suit different situations, environments, and characters. This leads to much better relationships between colleagues and with customers alike.

– Better customer experience – Whether or not your employees interact directly with customers or clients, self-aware employees perform their jobs more effectively, and therefore contribute to an improved customer experience.

– Greater productivity – Self-aware people are more likely to know their strengths and limitations, and therefore take on projects and tasks suitable to their skillsets, improving productivity. They are also more likely to understand the best styles of working for them. Conversely, self-aware employees are often keen to take on new challenges and develop their existing skills, meaning that they can benefit your organisation in a multitude of areas over time.

– “Other people centredness” – A truly ‘Discovery’ expression, this attribute is something that we try to foster in all of our training programmes and our internal company culture – people who are self-aware are also aware of the needs, wants and behaviours of others, and put those first, enabling them to form better working relationships with colleagues and clients.

How can we help people to improve self-awareness?

– Personality profiling – Seeing your attitudes and behaviours mapped out in black and white can seem daunting, but for some people, it can make a great start to their self-awareness journey, because it provides a jumping-off point for development.

– Encourage goal-setting – Knowing what you want to do, where you want to go, and what you aim to achieve are all crucial in the process of planning how to actually accomplish these goals, and in the process of knowing yourself.

– Welcome feedback – Feedback from others provides another perspective on your skills and behaviours, so creating a culture where feedback is encouraged in all directions will play a big part in enabling those around you to improve their self-awareness, as well as to improve your own.

– Coaching – There are plenty of ways to develop self-awareness but coaching often provides the structure and encouragement needed to create long-term, meaningful change.

Finally… it is so important to remember in any sort of people development that people are unique. For self-awareness development, each person needs to learn what works for them, and there are no two paths to self-awareness which are identical – it is this philosophy which lies at the heart of each and every training programme, coaching session or mentoring relationship we provide.

Written by Florence Sturt-Hammond