Awareness. What comes to mind when you think awareness? Being aware of your surroundings maybe, especially when you are on a dark street alone in the middle of the night? Maybe it’s being in an uncomfortable situation or in a new place and being very aware of all the people around you and aware of what they are saying or doing.
Leaders need a heightened sense of awareness. Maybe instead of using aware you could use attuned. Attuned has a number of additional connotations as in being receptive, acclimatized or accustomed as well as being aware.
Leaders, manager, and in fact all of us working with others need to be attuned in a number of ways: attuned to our physical environment; attuned to the task at hand and attuned to the people we are working with at the moment including ourselves.
This is particularly important for leaders in order to manage their impact on the people they are working with, guiding and supporting. A leader who is not aware and attuned to themselves and their impact on others can affect business outcomes out of a lack of awareness creating a blind spot for them.
Have you ever worked with someone who repeatedly uses a phrase or acts in a certain way that you are sure just turned everyone in the room “off”? And, the thing is, they didn’t hesitate or take in any of the reaction or lack of reaction around them and therefore never adjusted their approach to get a better result. In this situation they lack awareness of their impact. They weren’t attuned to the people around them. A blind spot like this can make people ineffective because others turn off and are waiting for the excuse to turn off the next time they work with this person.
Becoming more aware and more attuned to your surroundings, including the people with you, takes practice and reflection. More than that it takes a willingness to check-in with yourself on how things are working for you. It takes personal power to accept, upon reflection, that you could have done things differently and probably gotten a different result. It take practice to catch yourself entering your blind spot and making another choice!
Blind spots, we all have them.
What are yours?
How will you find out?
What can you do differently?