In my role as a manager, over the past couple of years, I have become more aware of the impact my actions have on others. Specifically, I am trying to be more mindful in how I deliver a message or ask a question.
What I have realized through this active practice of self-awareness and self-reflection is that change is a process. We all know that change is not easy for most people to process. It’s almost like a muscle that must be worked. And I have tried to consistently work my self-awareness and self-reflection in a disciple way, again, the way you would work a muscle.
To achieve results and changes in my own behavior, I have to be open and honest with myself if I am going to grow. Self-Reflection is not something that has come easy to me. For instance, I often relive conversations in my head and wonder if the other person received the message the way I intended it to be received. It is so easy to say, “Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and see how you would feel,” but to actually stop and do that, it takes work.
So what am I really trying to accomplish through all this conscious effort of self-awareness and self-reflection? I am trying to understand and consider why I do certain things, and what impact my actions have on others. To learn and grow from within, I must own and master my ability to change. As a manager, I am frequently in a position of influencing change in others, and I must model this behavior. I myself cannot expect others to change if I don’t focus on my own change and development. This is growth.
I work at TTA, and Maria Melfa, our CEO recently shared a book with us on “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol S. Dweck. Truthfully, when I started to read the book, I didn’t really give it my full attention at first. I was reading it, yes, but I was not retaining anything nor truly focusing on the material. It was not until a few colleagues mentioned how they were able to realize that they had either an open or closed mindset, that I became intrigued to revisit the book. Re-reading the book made me realize I had always had a closed mindset, I had not been open to the “possibility of yet.”
By becoming a dedicated practitioner of the “possibility of yet” I was able to change my worldview so that I was able to evolve to an open mindset. I know now that I can have an open mindset, but I also know that I need to develop and nurture it, and need to keep training it as a muscle. This is where the active practice of self-awareness and self-reflection comes in. I can see my own strengths and weaknesses, I know that I am open to growth and learning, and there is always room for improvement. I use my own example in conversations with my team members. This is a journey, and I want to ensure that we are all on the path of self-awareness and self-reflection.