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.
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?
- you are not supposed to talk on the phone while driving
- you are stuck in traffic
- you wish it was your spouse’s turn to pick up the child
- you are feeling guilty that you should have started 10 minutes earlier to avoid getting stuck in traffic
- all the above
Be your own observer to figure out the answer
- 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?
- Notice your thoughts
Thoughts are the pre-cursors to action. Observing these can give you clues about what motivates you or what disappoints you.
- 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.
- 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.