Cultivating self-awareness means better business
Tori Ufondu, Mindset Coach
Self-awareness is often dismissed as a fluffy concept more applicable in the world of personal development than in business. It appears to sit most comfortably on the lips of those discussing the latest mindfulness techniques or yoga class. However, to confine it to such a niche means its true power is missed by an entire subset of society, missed by those who just aren’t into that sort of thing. When applied in business, the truth is that self-awareness, meaning being actively aware of ones thoughts, behaviours and motivations, can have significant results. It changes not only what you do and how you do it, but also how you’re perceived in the process.
Rapport is your number one asset in any situation where relationships are important. Don’t confuse this with being liked or having shared interests, it’s about connecting on a subconscious level. People aren’t as aware of their reasons for trusting others as they’d like to think and this is why being a master rapport creator is a skill you shouldn’t be without. To do this you need to be aware, in the moment, of the differences between you and the person you’re communicating with. Are you matching the tempo of their speech, their phraseology, the way they stand, the level of personal space they’re comfortable with? Are you staring them down or matching their preferred eye pattern? If you’re not a natural, or worse you’re a mismatcher, then to do any of this requires a modicum of self-awareness. It’s the fastest way to get what you need from people who feel happy and safe giving it to you.
The separation we make between our personal lives and leading a successful business life is mostly imagined. Part of practicing self-awareness is paying attention to what affects you emotionally and mentally, noticing both positive and negative patterns and how they link across all areas of your life. How does avoiding confrontation at home make you quicker to snap at work, how does a good day at work make you more engaged at home? Don’t just experience moments, pay attention to the routes that lead you there, the people involved, what’s happening in all areas of your life at the time. The sooner you’re able to recognise patterns, the sooner you’re able to take control over them. Becoming aware of your motivations and triggers as a human being will give you more choice about your behaviours as a professional.
Acceptance and change
There’s often confusion around these two concepts, the most common being that they take more work than continuously battling against the same old challenges. Learning to recognise parts of your character that you can either change or simply accept will go a long way in making life easier for you and those working with you. Self-awareness is a great tool to have, but acceptance and change is where the real work comes in. Top tip: be at cause. If there’s a particular type of person or business situation you keep encountering, self-awareness means spotting the pattern and figuring out what you haven’t yet learned well enough to stop attracting it back. When you work out what it is, the next stage is making the choice to consciously accept it as something you expect and will continue to battle without complaint or, to make a change in how you deal with it. In business we often forget that we have the option to alter our own approach when confronted with adversity. One thing self-awareness teaches you, is that perspective is everything and very easy to change.
About the Author
Tori Ufondu is a Mindset Coach for men. She works internationally and is renowned for championing self-awareness through intensive, highly in-depth sessions, which cover both the personal and professional challenges that businessmen face. Connect with Tori at www.tori-ufondu.com and @tori_ufondu