Self-awareness is key to Emotional Intelligence. Most people have met a leader who has no idea how his emotions are impacting their performance. This becomes their greatest downfall.
When we rate each other on our value to a team, very little has to do with skill or intelligence whereas excellent soft skills always stand out. Soft skills relate to skills that aren't as easy to measure like listening skills, communication skills, leadership skills. Although we can't easily measure them, they make a tremendous impact on group morale and productivity.
Soft skills are tough to measure or improve if you lack self-awareness.
If you have a good idea of yourself, you have confidence. Monitoring yourself, knowing what you're doing and why gives you the upper hand.
A quick look at the brain reveals a lot about how we think. Our Prefrontal cortex plans and weighs what to do. This is the rational part of the brain that is creative, analytical and also deals with rational thought.
The Amygdala lies the back part of the brain. Its job is to protect you. Thus, it reacts and doesn’t respond to threats. It highjacks and takes over the rational mind and lets the fight or flight response take over.
When the amygdala takes over, we Impulsively may do something we regret.
Here’s where self-awareness kicks in. If you are tuned into your feelings and aware of your emotional state, you can adjust before any damage is done.
The body sends you signals when you are angry or irritated, tuning into these emotions will help you self-monitor.
Over time, through self-awareness, you can notice what your triggers are and talk yourself out of a stress response.
For example, Daniel Goldman, the founder and best selling author and motivational speaker on Emotional Intelligence suggests a fear of failure may be the culprit to unproductive behavior. Through self-awareness though we can tune into that fear and not give into it.
Goldman suggests a definition of maturity is widening the gap between impulse and action.
Everybody has blind spots or areas that undermine us, but we don’t notice them. It could be poor listening skills, anger, distractedness or more. Because these behaviors lie in our blind spot, we aren’t aware of how they impact others.
If you have a good level of self-awareness, likely you are emotionally intelligent.
Funny Motivational Speakers talks on self awareness through comedy