Self -Awareness, A Rare Quality?

Bad company culture costs UK economy £23.6 billion,
according to research by BreatheHR reported in HR Magazine.

The report also revealed the benefits of positive workplace cultures, including improved morale and relationships (cited by 44%), better customer service and satisfaction (43%), and reduced employee turnover (35%).
What is it that stops company cultures being positive? What is it that makes the culture of a company – driven by the top or a combination of all employees’ behaviour? Do we all take responsibility for it or expect it to be ‘made’ for us by senior managers? Could the reason people complain of bad culture be the unintended consequences of lots of people either not caring about or lacking awareness of their impact on others?
The organisational psychologist Tasha Eurich, has done lots of research into self-awareness and writing in HBR (What Self-Awareness Really Is, and How to Cultivate It) says, ”research suggests that when we see ourselves clearly, we are more confident and more creative.  We make sounder decisions, build stronger relationships, and communicate more effectively. ….We are better workers who get more promotions. And we’re more-effective leaders with more-satisfied employees and more-profitable companies.’’

However Eurich’s research has revealed that  ”…even though most people believe they are self-aware, self-awareness is a truly rare quality. We estimate that only 10%–15% of the people we studied actually fit the criteria.’’



How aware are you of your impact on others, aware or mostly unconscious of it? We know how we feel when we experience rude or bad behaviour from others, the car that cuts you up, someone pushing into a queue ahead of you. And yet we also all know how positive we feel when we experience the opposite from others, the unexpected coffee made, the door held open for you, a seat on the train offered up, or as one member of the Courageous Success team will always remember, the stranger on a London Underground escalator that rescued them from falling.
Think about your day to day life and  routines, how you interact with fellow commuters, how you talk to family, friends and co-workers, do you consider whether you are making a positive or negative impression, improving their day and lives or having the opposite affect?
Do you care?
Erin Urban writing in Forbes, ”We do things without considering the repercussions or even realizing that our actions and words matter. We dish out our opinions on social media in thoughtless disregard to the ripples that they cause. …We have become so convinced of our own powerlessness that we don’t stop to think that what we do shapes the very world around us every single day.’’
We do have a choice, we can choose to have a negative or positive impact on those around us.
Self-awareness is about knowing ourselves, what motivates and drives us, along with what irritates us or wobbles our confidence. Knowing your iAM values gives you that internal awareness. Once we have this we can self-regulate and manage our reactions, moods and emotions. And it is also about having external awareness (Eurich’s definition: how well we understand how others see us), being conscious of the impact we have on those around us, and aiming to make it a positive one.
If we all become more conscious of our impact on others and decide to always make it positive, imagine how you could transform your company culture?Our top tips for contributing to a positive culture:
  • Be conscious of your personal impact on others?  Ask yourself, what am I radiating to others?  Choose to always make it positive.
  • Create a personal mantra for your way of being, and then express it to make others feel special.
  • Choose to be positive, good, kind and caring every single day.
  • Commit to becoming self-aware, be courageous and ask for feedback from your team or work colleagues,  Eurich recommends having a ‘Loving critic’, someone you trust, who you know wants you to be successful and will also be completely honest and direct with you.
  • Practice giving people your full attention and remain focused in their conversation and not yours.
  • As a leader or manager, connect regularly with your team, and show your human side; admit mistakes and show vulnerability.
Smile, enjoy what you are doing and your connection with others, behave in a way that reflects the very best of what you are good at, and truly reflects you at heart!


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