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Hi All, this is my first blog in the SAP Community, so here is an introduction. I am Product Owner in the area of SAP Solution Manager. I discovered coaching few years back and have been amazed by the power of it. In my journey to become a Coach at SAP, I learned the importance of self-awareness. Also, with the mindfulness practice, I came to realize that self-awareness plays a large part in determining the success of a person.

Self-Awareness

The various facets of emotional intelligence are outlined by Jannies Burlingame in her blog post. As her diagram rightly points out, Self-Awareness in at the base of one’s emotional intelligence journey.

In plain terms, self-awareness means the conscious knowledge of one’s own character and feeling. In this blog we will explore how to reflect on ourselves to gain a better understanding of our feelings, emotions, values etc. In our daily lives we have many contexts around us, like our role in the family, in the organization, in the society etc. Each of these contexts have their own set of philosophies. When we switch from one context to another, it is common that some of the contexts clash. Hence it is important to know who we are, so that we can navigate the system around us with success.

Picture this scenario: It is 4:15 PM on a Tuesday evening. You are driving back home from a busy day at work. You were supposed to pick up your child from the child care at 4:00 PM. You get a call from your spouse inquiring whether you picked up your child. Suddenly you lose your cool and shout at your spouse.

So what really happened here? What could be some of the reasons that made you shout at your spouse? Do any of these options resonate with you?

  1. you are not supposed to talk on the phone while driving
  2. you are stuck in traffic
  3. you wish it was your spouse’s turn to pick up the child
  4. you are feeling guilty that you should have started 10 minutes earlier to avoid getting stuck in traffic
  5. all the above

Be your own observer to figure out the answer

 

  1. Notice your feelings

At different points in the day, notice how you feel. Keep track of when you felt these feelings: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, Surprise etc.

Or, you can take a timeframe like last week and observe yourself. Like, when was the happiest you felt in the last week?

  1. Notice your thoughts

Thoughts are the pre-cursors to action. Observing these can give you clues about what motivates you or what disappoints you.

 

  1. Notice your speech

We often convey a lot by the way we speak to people. There might be certain tones we restrict to certain situations, or there might be certain words that we use.

 

  1. Notice your values

Values are very integral to us. They could be integrity, respect, humorous, consistent, courageous etc. Knowing our values help us in staying true to ourselves. It also gives pointers to how we tend to react if at all one of our value is going to be violated in a situation.

It is beneficial to maintain a daily journal with these points. Within a month you can notice patterns and trends emerging.

 

Now that you know some ways to observe yourself, please share your thoughts on the points that resonate with you. What techniques and strategies do you use to increase your own self-awareness?

PS: it would also be great to hear about your reasons in the above scenario.

 

Check out more blog posts in this series: Coach’s Corner.

 

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6 Comments

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  1. Colleen Hebbert

    Great example as you are describing the pre-cursor of me trying to rush out the door at 5pm each day to make daycare pick up – Daycares have a great deterrent of charging $1 per minute that you are late to collecting your child.

     

    Self-awareness is important and before it becomes second nature you do need to (1) recognise/be conscious of your attitude and mood (2) accept that you are responsible for your reaction regardless of the person’s action  and finally, (3) want to change.

     

    And even when you get all 3 you still have to have the energy and in that moment of recognition not react and snap.

     

    One of the questions I ask myself  now is “does it really matter”? In the grand schemes does being 10 minutes late (so long as no cost) really change the outcome if so long as I arrive on time and safely get us both home?

     

    Then it’s also be prepared to let it go (Even if you now have the song stuck in your head)

     

    When it gets too much: stop. Breathe and take those extra moments to calm down and reflect as to why you are getting worked up. When it’s really bad and there’s a patter, put trust in your friends and family and ask them to help – so when hubby calls up on the phone instead of snapping you’re able to say ‘I’m a bit run down and stressed, can you just give me a minute as I don’t want to snap’

     

    Some times it works. Other times, there’s always next time to try again.

     

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    1. Resmi K S Post author

      Dear Colleen,

      Thank you for your insightful comments. As you say, self-awareness helps you respond to situations in a more productive way.

      Regards,

      Resmi.

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  2. Radha Devaraj

    Thanks Resmi for sharing with an example. The blog conveys how we can manage what stays in our control.

    I would go a step further to say that sincere self-awareness also has taught us often that we ought to be kind to ourselves and need not put ourselves under pressure to be so nice and kind to put up with people when there are neither values nor self-awareness on the other side/ nor is there willingness to listen to how you feel about certain situations with them.

    Perhaps if there could be insights through another complimentary blog on managing such a situation where self-awareness is lacking on the other side, it would be wonderful too.

     

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  3. Jayne Phillips

    Resmi, great blog and congrats on getting your first one posted!

    Your topic is so important, and I think we frequently are moving at such a pace that we don’t allow time to make our own self-observations.   Your suggestion to journal is a great one; making time on a regular cadence to give purposeful thought to our behaviors, reactions and feelings in situations.

    I would also say we need to invest  time to reflect on self-awareness in all types of scenarios.  The one you describe in your example was more stress-based and resulted in lashing out at another.  We should also be aware of what affects our positive and productive actions.

    I recently saw a quote on that relates to this topic that I loved:  “There is no greater journey than the one that you must take to discover all of the mysteries that lie within you”   from Michelle Sandlin

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    1. Resmi K S Post author

      Dear Jayne,

      Thank you for the encouragement and the spot-on quote.

      I agree with you on the point about what brings out positive and productive actions from you. Appreciative inquiry within your self can yield marvelous results.

       

      thank you,

      Resmi.

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