Awareness for Leaders
Welcome to the Awareness Mini Assessment
How well do you notice your mental states? How easily do you understand the behavior, reactions, and emotions of the people you lead?
Take this mini-assessment to find out how aware you are of your inner experiences and those of others.
For each of the statements below select an honest response. Your answers are anonymous. No registration required.
30-35: As you move through the workday, you are highly aware of your inner landscape. You know how to ‘be here now’, and you take steps to understand others. Even amidst busyness, you can step back and take a broader view, considering the goals that are important to you and distinguishing the important signals from the surrounding noise. These qualities inspire your team members to follow your lead. If you wish to practice and expand your awareness even further, read our tips below.
24-29: You know how to be present for yourself and those you lead and how to toggle your attention between priorities. You know how to cultivate mental clarity. However, when you come under pressure, you may default to habitual behaviors that aren’t serving you or others. Read our tips below to keep expanding your awareness.
19-23: You pay attention to what you and others are experiencing as you move through the workday. However, you may have a few habits that impair your ability to stay present and to make an impact. You may be engaged in a lot of activity, heavy workloads, and multitasking that can lead to burnout. You may need to create more space for awareness to arise and to see things clearer. Follow our tips below for practical steps on enhancing your awareness.
Below 19: Your mind easily slips into autopilot mode. This mode can be useful for routine tasks or when exercising. But you risk missing out on valuable information and can lose sight of priorities, possibly neglecting the self-care and recharging you need to lead best. It only takes a few minutes of daily practice to increase your awareness levels. Read our tips below.
Tips for increasing your awareness
1. Have a mind training practice
Research has found that a short daily mindfulness practice enhances self-awareness. It helps you to notice and regulate your emotions, and it helps you to better understand the behavior, reactions, and emotions of the people you lead — and in turn create better relations and lead for more impact. Here is a sample 10-minute practice.
2. Take an ‘awareness break’
When we come under pressure, we default to doing what we have always done. We resort to habitual thinking and behavior. Taking regular short breaks, even for just one minute, gets you out of the habitual mode. It provides you space for awareness to arise and to see things clearer. An awareness break is a break in which you do nothing. You don’t check the news, your phone, or social media. Turn away from your screen(s), and simply look out the window, close your eyes, or walk down the hallway and back.
3. Mind your mind
Under stress we can fall into less effective versions of ourselves; we default into reactivity. So first check your state of mind. Am I nervous, fearful, anxious? If you go into a conversation holding these emotions, they are likely to show up in unintended ways. Focus on three rounds of breathing to center yourself and balance the nervous system.
4. Be present
In a world where distractions are omnipresent, make a deliberate effort to practice presence. Focus on the person you’re with, what they’re thinking, how they’re feeling, and any factors that may be contributing to their experience at work.
5. Find your flow
What are some activities in which you can get totally lost or lose your sense of time? This may include routine tasks or physical activity that allows the mind to rest while your autopilot system takes over. Balance your week with some ‘mindless’ activity (administrative tasks, sports, music, etc.) at the times when you tend to have less energy and focus.
6. Make simple tasks a habit
Endless decision-making demands can consume the finite resources of the mind, so consider what in your life and work can shift into autopilot mode and habits. Are there complex processes you may be able to streamline to take the thinking out of it? Are there things that cause decision fatigue (like figuring out what’s for dinner) that you can turn into a routine or outsource? Consider how you can tap into autopilot mode to perform simpler cognitive tasks with ease.