Posted by: paulaswitzer | May 30, 2010

EQ: The Leadership Advantage

One of the main tenets in Emotional Intelligence (according to Daniel Goleman and others) is Self-Awareness.  In order for a leader to be effective, he or she must know who they are as an individual.  I once heard someone say this “you cannot take a group any further than you are”.  How true this is!  As leaders, it is important for us to truly understand our own strengths and overuses of those strengths, as well as areas where we might need to focus on improving.  It takes a lot of courage to really examine what works for us, as well as what is not working.  Do you have a good friend, or a significant other who can be brutally honest with you?  Sometimes, it takes others to provide us with input about our own behaviors.  A key model for understanding ourselves is something called The Johari Window, developed in the 1950’s by Joe Luft and Harry Ingham.  They talked about how each of us has a “blind spot” or an area of self that others can see, but we cannot.  Other great tools for learning more about ourselves are assessments such as the DISC model and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.  Working on our own self-awareness (often with the help of someone who knows us well, or a good coach) can move us toward a higher level of Emotional Intelligence.   As the sayng goes “self awareness is the first step to change”.  How self-aware are you?

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