Everything starts with you understanding you

by Mark Fritz, Leadership Specialist

How much time do you invest in better understanding yourself?

Your own effectiveness and influence with others start with you understanding you. The better you understand yourself, the better able you’ll be to adapt your behavior and approaches to others, thereby increasing your influence with them. Also, it’s your emotions drive many of your behaviors, and it’s crucial for today’s international leaders to have high emotional intelligence.

Distance Magnifies Behavior

How often do you interact with your key people?

The saying that actions speak louder than words truly applies to leaders who lead across distances and cultures. You are on stage all the time. People tell stories about you and those stories travel fast.

If you are not communicating frequently with your people, then they are forming and magnifying their own perceptions. The frequency of your contact plays a big role in what your employees consider important. The more they magnify the right thoughts, the more successful you are as a leader.

 How to understand yourself

To understand yourself well, you’ll need to think about what would enable you to do so and develop the habits necessary to get a more complete picture of yourself.

1.    Feedback

Continuous feedback is one of the best ways to learn what you are doing well and what you could be doing better. When you are a leader, you need to be comfortable with criticism, because the higher the role, the more criticism there is. If you want to improve your willingness to hear feedback, you might want to complete one of the many emotional intelligence assessments available nowadays.

2.    Reflection

Successful leaders invest time in reflecting on how they behaved and how they could behave better in similar circumstances in the future. Reflection time is one of the most worthwhile self-development habits you could implement.

Feedback + Reflection = Faster progress

Creating the right surround sound

As a leader, you must know who to bring into your team. Knowing yourself well is a crucial part of being able to do that. If you want to be a successful leader, you need to learn how to build a diverse team of leaders, each of whom has strengths that complement those of the other team members.

Liked or respected…or both?

Both are probably the right answer. When you understand you, you can better control your emotions and make those important, but occasionally unpopular, decisions when they are needed most.

Embrace the differences

Leaders who embrace differences can enact stronger solutions and prompt better performance from their team. The more diverse the people you work with, the more you end up learning about yourself.

Deal with the circumstances you are given

The more you know about yourself, the stronger you become in dealing with whatever arises in both your business or personal life.

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