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I love learning. Thankfully, as humans, we have the capacity for lifelong learning. Once our bodies are fully grown, we can still grow emotionally, mentally and spiritually. I learned something new recently on NPR. I was listening to an expert in organizational development, who had conducted a study around self-awareness. Of course, my ears perked up, because self-awareness is the first component of emotional intelligence (EQ) and EQ is at the core of being an effective leader.

So, here are here shocking findings. First of all, guess how many people THINK they have high self-awareness? You’re right, it’s high, 90% of us think we have high self-awareness. Now, here is another shock, guess how many people, according to her study, ACTUALLY have high self-awareness? Right again, it’s low. Fifteen percent!

The reason why this was so intriguing to me, is because I realize that most of the teams and leaders I work with, think they have high self-awareness, but the numbers would say that most of them don’t! How many of us would say, right, I am actually one of the unaware people?

Yet we all have room to grow. Here is an example. Today I facilitated a DISC personality style program for a team of 28 including 3 managers and 1 director. Before the training, the HR Director gave me the skinny on the challenges of the group, including that one of the managers had NO CLUE about his negative impact on his team and his team’s negative impact on the rest of the group. I didn’t ask who it was as to remain impartial during the training.

During the DiSC training, I go around and interact with the team members, and encourage them to adapt their communication to others who have dissimilar styles. Twice I noticed as I was encouraging a particular person, that his response was, I’m a manager, I already do all of this every day. Well, guess what, when someone says that, I pretty much know that they are not really open to learning and they are actually NOT using tools to better themselves and improve their communication. If they were open to learning, they would have said, this is great! I am glad to be understanding more about my direct reports and how to communicate better with them.

As it turns out, you guessed it, this was the manager that the HR Director was talking about who had no clue of their negative impact. He was one of the 15%. What is the lesson here? We ALL have room to learn and grow – no matter how long we have been a leader and no matter how long we have been at our jobs. As I like to say, we are either growing or we’re dying – I suggest growth!

At Transformative Training Solutions, we can support your team and leaders to increase their emotional intelligence and grow towards being the kind of leaders they want to be. And whether your leaders are gung-ho or think they don’t need to grow, well, we have one-on-one executive coaching! Give us a call for your free needs assessment today!

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