The textbook definition of Self-awareness is:
Aware of oneself, including one’s traits, feelings, and behaviour and the ability to reconcile oneself as an individual separate from the environment and other individuals. While awareness is our ability to take note; self-awareness is our ability to take note of ourselves objectively in particular situations.
Being in a consultant’s position we meet people every day and we are required to assess them on many levels. With a few short questions, it is very easy to assess someone’s level of self-awareness.
Recently I watched a press conference with one of Australia’s best Rugby League players. It was a typical game “wrap up” discussing the night’s game. Toward the end, like most press conferences, the questions turned to the player in particular, with the journalist asking questions about his “form” and the teams “plan” for the rest of the season. The player refused to answer most of the questions and acted like he was “above” being there, snorted dismissively and it was just uncomfortable for all involved including the audience. He acted like a spoilt little boy who hadn’t had enough “time outs”. Personally, I have never seen a more arrogant and cantankerous display in all my life. For someone who is a NRL fan and likes watching the after match press conferences it almost made me want to never tip that particular team again (not that I do anyway). The questions may have been more focused on the actual player than the night’s game however none of them were overly crass or invasive.
What this person failed to understand is that it did him no favours. The reasons they conduct these interviews is for the fans; the people that buy tickets to the games, that buy the paraphernalia, that buy memberships. The die-hard fans that hold on his every word- The people that pay his salary!!
When you look at organisation development and what makes leaders good leaders, self -awareness is one of the least discussed competencies. Most likely, your strengths are what got you to this point in your career. As your role in your organisation changes, you must be careful not to overplay a former strength that it actually becomes a weakness.
For example. Being an incredible football player as an individual contributor got him to where he is. However displaying this type of behaviour is not conducive to being elected team captain, or taking home a medal at the Dally M’s. Can you imagine say,
Darren Lockyer displaying this type of behaviour?
Now this display has not happened once but twice. The last time this particular player acted this way, he was sliced and diced by the media. Here we are not even two years on and he’s doing it again! Arrogant football player or is it a case of being taught a lesson on self-awareness? You decide.
There’s one thing I know for sure… If he is not nice to them on the way up, they certainly won’ t be nice to him on the way down.
Deanna Keating – Team Leader