In episode 462, Pam McLean emphasizes self-awareness as the key to unlocking your leadership potential.Leadership development necessitates a commitment to change. No matter who you are, change requires much conscious effort. Habit and routine exert their natural pull—even if it means stagnation. Great leaders commit to pushing past the fear of change so they can grow and develop.
Understand your strengths and weaknesses as the first step toward growth. When people want to change, they tend to ask others what needs to happen. Instead, Pam recommends starting with self-reflection. Honestly identify your underlying challenges. People often overlook self-awareness in the change process. However, self-awareness often leads to self-correcting without any external intervention.
Identify self-limiting narratives. Pam suggests that almost all people have self-limiting beliefs or narratives. For example, Pam grew up on a cattle ranch. Her environment encouraged strength and independence. As a result, she felt reluctant to ask for others’ help. Self-sufficiency served her well on the ranch…but hindered her leadership later in life. Noting your own self-liming beliefs makes room for a broader perspective.
Grow your leadership skills by cultivating your internal landscape. You can speed up your development by investing in these six dimensions of self:
- Presence. Your attention to self and the ability to be there for another. Try mindfulness apps (such as Simple Habit) or putting away your phone when others are speaking.
- Empathy. The ability to take another’s perspective and empathize with it—without making it your own experience. Research shows that good self-care practices also increase empathy. Win-win!
- Range of Feelings. The ability to be at ease with a broad range of emotions—instead of shying away from unfamiliar or unpleasant ones. Try asking others to put their feelings on a 1 to 5 scale of intensity.
- Boundaries & Systems. Maintaining your limits and helping someone solve their problem instead of solving it for them. Try to avoid the temptation to rescue or collude. Instead, keep asking helpful questions.
- Embodiment. Fully experiencing your body in the moment and recognizing how your body reflects your thoughts. Try different breathing approaches and note how they impact your body.
- Courage. Acting despite the fear of failure and working towards change despite discomfort. Identify two or three little actions that make you feel slightly nervous. Do those actions every day to build your courage.