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Self-Awareness: What It Is and How to Cultivate It in the Workplace



Self-awareness is not an inborn characteristic. It is a skill learned, refined, and strengthened over time. Whether you are an employee or a manager, self-awareness is an essential attribute to improve actively, so you can advance and succeed in whatever role you are in. Improvement in self-awareness also helps your workplace and the people in it become more in tune with their needs, more compassionate towards each other, and more prepared for the situations to come ahead. You must thoroughly understand the various levels, types, and methods of self-awareness to build a culture that genuinely values and promotes it.


What is Self-Awareness?


Self-awareness involves our perspective of the various facets of our identity, such as our behaviors, emotions, and qualities. In essence, it is a mental state when one focuses on themselves.


Despite being a central element of who we are, self-awareness is something that we are not acutely focused on every time. Self-awareness becomes integrated into our identities and emerges at various points depending on our personality or situation.


Self-awareness can also be described as our ability to conduct our feelings, impulses, and thoughts in any environment, helping us with our interpersonal interactions and relationships and our accountability and self-governance. People who possess self-awareness can separate their emotions from their decision-making process; they control and manage their thoughts rather than allowing it the other way around.

Self-Awareness has Two Types: People will often find that one type is more suitable for themselves than the other.

  1. Public Self-Awareness – emerges when an individual is aware of how they appear to others, often manifesting when said individual finds themselves at the center of attention.

People who possess this self-awareness are frequently forced to follow social conventions. We continually try to act in socially acceptable and desirable ways when we are aware that we are being observed and judged.


  1. Private Self-Awareness – this is how one perceives themselves and how they regulate their emotions. It primarily deals with the ability to understand one's self.

The Advantage of Self-Awareness

Self-awareness appeals for numerous reasons. One, it leads to better decision-making. Second, it makes us more proactive and encourages positive self-development. Third, it helps us practice self-control. And fourth, it develops our empathy and ability to view things from others' perspectives.

In the workplace, self-awareness enhances our job performance, makes us better communicators, and increases our self-esteem and job-related well-being. Second, it helps take on any challenge in stride and react calmly and professionally. And third, it enables us to view and address issues and situations objectively.

How to Cultivate It in the Workplace


It takes a lot of energy, practice, and time to excel at our self-awareness. We can enhance our self-development by identifying and practicing techniques and making it a conscious effort to improve daily. Here are some ways to practice self-awareness:

  • Practice Mindfulness. Find some time every day to connect with yourself and for self-reflection. Identify what occurred throughout the day, how it made you feel, or what could have been done better. Find a suitable space and time to ask yourself about these situations before the end of the day.

  • Write It Out. Journaling has always been identified as an excellent outlet for developing self-awareness. Writing everything down can help you process emotions and thoughts. It is a perfect way to vent your feelings, frustrations, and irritations healthily and productively.

  • Do a Communication Check. There is much more to communication than simply conversing with someone. It would be best if you practiced recognizing both verbal and nonverbal cues. Observe how people are acting. What is their position? What about the expressions on their faces? When compared to verbal clues, nonverbal communication is frequently more revealing. You must ensure you foster an environment where individuals feel safe expressing their feelings.

  • Take a Walk in Someone Else's Shoes. It is easy to get carried away by problems that we forget to look at situations from another person's perspective. This can give us an unhealthy sense of tunnel vision in some cases. Challenging yourself to look at things from another person's perception is a great way to combat this unhealthy tunnel vision. Asking for feedback from others or taking the time to view their perspectives is an excellent way to do this.

  • Ask the Right Questions. Ask "Why" to everything. Be as curious as you can, and learn from others' experiences. You have the chance to develop personally and take steps to become more self-aware.

Your development process revolves around self-awareness. Do not be afraid to explore appropriate resources and assistance that can enable you to advance your self-development. Remember, self-awareness will help you manage future disruptions, become more aware of your needs, and improve you as a person in general.

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