When I looked at this week’s topic, I wasn’t exactly sure what the heck I was going to write about. Leadership hasn’t been a topic I’ve focused a lot of my time on, even since I have been in the professional workforce for over 2 years now. So what did I do? I googled.

I looked through the list and found one that I thought could help me understand what leadership self-awareness was, and how it is such a vital component of being a good leader. The article I came across is out of the Harvard Business Review and I must say – it is very informative on this topic, if you would like to peek at it here you go. Self-awareness is not always a trait that everyone has, it is something we should develop and maintain over time. HBR talks about knowing what motivates us, and what helps to drive our decision making – this forms part of our self-awareness as a leader, when we know why we do things, what are motives are around certain decision making we can ensure that we make the right decisions, for the right situations.

For the actual part of this week’s assignment, we were required to send out the survey that we did on ourselves to some selected friends or colleagues. Not many of the people in my life would be able to comment on my leadership or working style, so I thought to send it to the Contractor I am currently working with, and another colleague I work closely with. I don’t necessarily like opening the door for people to comment on certain capabilities of mine, and I felt a bit nervous asking them to answer questions on my leadership. I was quite harsh on myself, but was surprised on what came back from my Contractor colleague.

The Contractor gave some good feedback on the different parts of the survey (ability and opportunity). He numbered the comments to the 5 question that fit within each of the categories.

Question 4: Ability

  1. I have a clear sense of what is right and wrong and uses and that leads to confident value-based decisions.
  2. I have great listening skills, but not always able to empathise with those who I see to be incompetent.
  3. I struggle with those whose values take some effort in uncovering.
  4. There is potential for me to lead, but haven’t had a lot of opportunity to date,
  5. I can take feedback well as long as it is constructive.

Question 6: Opportunity

  1. The current working environment means opportunity for creativity and innovation is limited.
  2.  As above, the environment is primarily reactive
  3. Clearly motivated to develop the support
  4. Not extensively within the current work environment, but does very well with the limited resources at hand
  5. Has a good awareness of this, and I can see this coming together.

After reading the comments from the Contractor I didn’t feel so nervous anymore about the perception people have of my leadership ability. Although looking at some of the Contractors feedback there is always room for me to develop, and I appreciate the honesty around some of those areas – for instance I don’t tend to be able to empathise with those who I see to be incompetent, and from the tweet chat on Tuesday I know this is a component of leadership we should have to be effective.

I don’t worry about sharing this feedback with everyone in this course; because for other people to see these things may help them to be a bit more self-aware of similar things they may/may not have noticed in themselves.

To end my blog this week – I received the HRINZ HR Magazine for October/November and there are some good leadership based articles in there, which I think could prove helpful to us in this course. One I found particularly interesting is called Good Leadership: Where do we begin? I scanned a copy but I am unsure on how to add it in here, but if you would like it – I am more than happy to email it through, it’s not currently live on the HRINZ website yet.

Until next week.

HR Workaholic