[fmco soundbites] The org chart (part 7) – Self Awareness

picture of a man in Guy Fawkes mask looking at a smaller Gur Fawkes mask in his right hand
[15 June 2021] Day 15 of the fmco* in Malaysia

Who am I?
Back in 1979, one of my favourite songs was Supertramp’s Logical Song. There’s one part in which they sing “I know it sounds absurd, Please tell me who I am….” Self-awareness can be rare.
A holistic understanding of the various approaches in servant leadership requires self-awareness in the leader.

Often, people in positions of authority and power are blissfully ignorant of their own strengths, as well as their shortcomings. We need to be conscious of how our own behavior, the expression of our values and emotions, and our psychological biases affect those around us. This becomes even more essential during critical moments. It is key to establishing trust and openness in your team.

Different sides, Different views

Do you know how people see you? Everyone has a multiple sides and different people see different sides of you. Just like these awesome sculptures:

Johari Window

According to psychologists, Joseph Luft (1916–2014) and Harrington Ingham (1916–1995), there are a list of traits and they can be in 4 main areas for each relationship:

Open or Arena
These are the traits, attitudes, behaviours, emotions, feelings, skills, and views  that you know you have and others can see it as well.

These are the list of traits that others perceive you have but you don’t seem to be aware of them.

Façade / Hidden
These are the traits that you know you have but somehow, it’s hidden from others. You may be want to withhold them for fear of negative reactions. Most times, you only reveal them when you trust the other person.

These represent the behaviours and motives that neither you nor others recognizes. This could be because they do no apply or because of collective ignorance of these traits, or they are subconscious information.

The Open area is the main area where all the communications occur. The bigger the arena is, the more effectual and dynamic relationships will be. Think about a co-worker that you really get along with. How’s your relationship with him/her? There’s bound to be more trust and you share more about yourself. Most likely, this co-worker feel comfortable giving your feedback and suggestions to change your outlook. With this friend at work, you certainly have a larger open area.

You can do something about it

To increase this Open area, you need to do 3 things:

  1. Solicitate feedback. The more you ask for feedback, the more you reduce the blind spots. When receiving feedback, be respectful, listen and reflect on what has been said.
  2. Reduce fear of revealing your true self. Sometimes, we may be reluctant to reveal personal information about ourselves, such as feelings, past experiences, fears, and secrets. This is called self-disclosure. It requires us to show our vulnerabilities. When we do, we show the other person that we trust them. This trust is always reciprocated.
  3. Self and Shared Discovery. Either on your own or with a trusted compatriot, explore the other traits to see if you or others have witnessed.

Now that you know this, a leader should help team members to increase self-awareness. Look for avenues to create an environment that instils a spirit of self-discovery to promote constructive observation and feedback.

(Read the other parts of this org chart series.)

About the Author: Gina Phan is a consultant and trainer with Zinfinity Consulting. She currently conducts courses in workplace performance skills. Click here to contact her, follow her on Facebook or connect with her on Linkedin.

Read her other posts.

#leadership #organisationchart #servantleadership #selfawareness #johariwindow #communication
#trainergina #ginaphan #gp

(Feature Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay)

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