We often talk about self-awareness as “the” awareness. Even at the Institute, we emphasise on how essential it is to know oneself. But did you know that there are other types of awareness that are probably as important? Today we want to talk about all 3 types of awareness and give you some pointers as to where to start to develop each of them.
1 | Self-awareness
Self-awareness is the most known type of awareness. It’s the ability to know oneself, to have a deep understanding of what makes us who we are – not just our strengths and weaknesses, but also what triggers our emotions and behaviours or what our core values are. As we grow older and have more and more experiences, we change over time, so self-awareness is also the capacity to make our knowledge of ourselves evolve. To not stay stuck on one side of us, but to see where we are, where we come from, and where we’re going as individuals.
Some reflection (beyond the obvious “strengths and weaknesses”):
- How have you changed in the recent years?
- What have you learned about yourself?
- What mistakes did you do?
- What behaviours serve you every day?
- What do you keep doing that isn’t good for you?
- What is success for you?
- What is your story?
- How holds you back?
- What would you do if you were free of your own barriers and fears?
2 | Social awareness
Social awareness is the ability to understand others, the relationships you have with them, and the relationships they have with each other. It’s also about understanding how you react in various social situations and different contexts.
- What social situations are you the most comfortable with?
- In what situations are you not at ease or feeling awkward?
- How do you interact with people you don’t know?
- What is your communication style?
- How do you react when people don’t have the same style of communication as you?
- How do you build closeness with others?
Important social skills:
- Observing body language
- Asking questions
- Listening actively
- Adjusting your communication to different contexts
3 | Organisational awareness
Organisational awareness is probably the trickiest of all three types. It can be abstract and almost seem foreign, but it is so important to develop and maintain, especially for your career. Office politics are a big thing, especially if you hope to rise up the corporate ladder, but it’s not the only thing. In every group you belong to, there are values and norms that the group follows, but it’s not always clear. Understanding them will help you find a place within that group that suits you.
- What groups do you belong to? List all of them (family, group of friends, company, department, club, etc.)
- How do people interact within each group? How is it different/similar from your other groups?
- What are the unsaid and unwritten rules of the group?
- Who is the leader? What makes him/her the leader?
- How do you participate to the group?
- How is the group serving you?
- Observing interactions between different levels
- Gut feeling, intuition