Self-Awareness - Leader EQ
Research has identified five components of Emotional intelligence. These elements include:
Self-Awareness - the ability to recognize and understand your moods, emotions, and drives, as well as their effect on others
Self-Regulation - the ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods: the propensity to suspend judgment - to think before acting
Intrinsic Motivation - a passion for working for reasons that go beyond money or status: a propensity to pursue goals with energy and persistence
Empathy - the ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people: skill in treating people according to their emotional reactions
Social Skill - proficiency in managing relationships and building networks: an ability to find common ground and build rapport
When children encounter an emotional circumstance, a parent may say, "use your words and tell me how you feel." The beginning of self-awareness is the ability to identify an emotion and observe how feelings impact our thinking and behavior. Think of the "slap heard around the world" by Will Smith at the Oscars in March 2022. Self-awareness exposes emotion and helps anticipate when irrationality may impact decision-making.
Self-awareness means having a deep understanding of our emotions, strengths, weaknesses, needs, and drives. Behavioral analysis shows that people with high self-awareness are neither overly critical nor unrealistically hopeful. Rather, they are honest and authentic with themselves and with others. The repeated promise to achieve an irrational outcome is a sign of low self-awareness without appreciating how this behavior impacts others.
People with high self-awareness recognize how their feelings affect them, other people, and their job performance. Thus, a self-aware person who knows that tight deadlines bring out their worst behavior is careful to avoid time-sensitive obligations, which is an unlikely expectation in the world of mortgage lending. Thus coping mechanisms play an important role in counteracting the emotional impact of pressure. The point is not to ignore the stress but to identify methods to channel stress appropriately and ideally express the emotion through authentic relationships.
A self-aware person has an inner voice of reason to help them process decisions rationally. A person who lacks self-awareness is more likely to make decisions that actually stir inner turmoil. A lack of self-awareness may cause a person to perpetuate poor decisions in pursuit of an emotional solution that is never achieved. The decisions of self-aware people are aligned with reason, forward-thinking, and personal values. The interesting outcome of self-awareness is a sense of fulfillment from a position, even when challenging.
It is important to recognize self-awareness in others. Self-awareness is evidenced by a persons' ability to speak candidly and present themselves realistically. People with high self-awareness speak accurately and openly about when emotions impact their work. A self-aware sales manager may comment that they have reservations about the volume forecast. A self-aware CEO will accept this comment and seek to understand the point of reservation. A self-aware closer will speak openly about a mistake and how they plan to improve. A self-aware loan originator will accept the closer's comments and talk about how they may collectively improve communication.
Self-aware people are honest about their limitations and strengths and often appreciate well-founded constructive criticism. In contrast, people with low self-awareness interpret the message that they need to improve as a threat or a sign of failure. Self-aware people can also be recognized by their rationally supported self-confidence. They have a firm grasp of their capabilities and are less likely to fail. Self-aware employees know when to ask for help and generally will not accept an assignment they can't accomplish.
Research has demonstrated that self-aware people in the workplace add value to a firm. The challenge is that, in some cases, CEOs are not self-aware and see candor as a weakness and a lack of self-confidence when the opposite is true. Self-aware employees create a stronger company when they are allowed to speak because their rationally based insights have proven valuable to a business. A self-aware CEO is significantly more likely to achieve success because they inspire trust, honesty, and authentic relationship among the staff.
Self-awareness is closely related to Self-regulation. See article.
Some of the information above was sourced from Daniel Goleman's 1998 article What Makes a Leader published in the Harvard Business Review.
Dr. Schell and the MBS Financial Services team help firms identify self-awareness and implement an authentic leadership style.
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About Dr. Schell:
Dr. Andy Schell, Ph.D., DBA, MSML, MBA, CPA/CFF, CMB
Dr. Schell is CEO, Managing Partner, and Co-Founder of Mortgage Banking Solutions and the Founder of MBS Financial Services ("MBS"), based in Austin, Texas. Dr. Schell is known for his ability to turn "vision into reality" and "chaos into order" as he finds creative solutions to the challenges his clients face addressing Revenue Stability, Technology Enhancement, Financial Management, and Workflow Efficiency.
He has 4 decades of experience as a strategist directing the activity of both small and large groups of employees including mortgage lending activity at Bank of America. His leadership knowledge extends from his hands-on experience and his academic training in his MBA, his master's degree in leadership, and his doctoral work to examine employee dynamics given leader stimulus.
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