How Aware Are You?
By Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa
The main tasks of leaders are to generate excitement, optimism, and passion for the task at hand. In addition, a leader is expected to create an atmosphere where there is cooperation and trust. This is a bit hard to do if the leader is unsure of his/her own vision and values and is having difficulty understanding the emotions of the group. In order to guide the emotional tone of a group, the leader must first have a sure sense of direction and priorities that generally come from self-awareness.
Self-awareness is an often overlooked characteristic of a leader. Without recognizing our own emotions, we will never become effective leaders because we will be less able to understand the emotions in others. A leader who is self aware is able to recognize how their own feelings will affect the group as well as the job performance.
Leaders who possess the skill of self-awareness are able to recognize the emotion of anger, for example, and know what caused it and how to do something about it. Unfortunately, leaders who lack this skill become quick to anger and lose their temper.
The ability to empathize with others is also affected by self-awareness because a person who cannot identify their own emotions will not likely be able to understand how others feel. By understanding how others feel, a leader will be able to say and do that which is appropriate at the time in order to calm fears, provide needed information, and promote good spirits.
Finally, once leaders are able to understand their own emotions and those of others, movement toward common goals and objectives can be made. As you work on your self-awareness skills this week, keep in mind the following:
- Identify your own vision and goals
- Believe in your organization
- Read daily
Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa is a mother, educator, and wife living in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. She is a PhD student with Our Lady of the Lake University in Leadership Studies. Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa is the President of the Leadership Empowerment Group, LLC and is currently researching the relationship between the leadership of the high school principal and the high school drop out rate. Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa is the author of Are You A Ten? The Ten Characteristics of a Servant Leader. For ordering information, please contact Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa at Barbara@leadershipempowermentgroup.com or visit Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com. Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa’s newest publication, The Leadership Collection, will be available for purchase beginning November 1, 2011.