Building Self-Awareness as a Manager



For most people, it is hard to objectively self-evaluate their work and behaviours. Great leaders learn to build strong self-awareness. There are two main sources of information that can help you with this.

Personal Data

The goal is to learn about yourself, focusing on your strengths and weaknesses. You can achieve this by keeping track of your performance over time. There are three sources of data you can use.

  • Look for a trend line that describes the evolution of your average performance in a period of time, maybe 6 or 12 months.
  • Look also for your relative performance compared to other members of the team.
  • Finally, go back to your previous performance evaluations.

Feedback from others

In this case the goal is to find at least one or two people that are willing to give you feedback. You will need someone more experienced than you for this, that has good exposure to your work, behaviours and performance.

Once you know who they are, approach them in private and ask them from their perspective on you and your work. Try to be as respectful as possible, they are investing time and effort in giving you quality feedback after all. The golden rule is, make sure you let them talk!

Putting things together

It is important to self-reflect on the data we can gather ourselves before asking others for their opinions. This way we will be more open to receiving feedback.

Do this two or three times per year and you will have developed a deeper self-awareness that will help you improve faster at work.