Why Knowing Yourself Is Essential for Good Leadership

The famous psychologist Erik Erikson once said, “The more you know yourself, the more patience you have for what you see in others.” His quote especially rings true for people in leadership positions. Since leaders will have to manage and work with others, they must first understand their own temperament and habits so that they can better relate to their colleagues, especially those who are different from them.

Accomplished business leader Kye Giscombe has learned to manage large groups of people as the head of companies such as Estate Law Center. Kye Giscombe comments, “We are all different, unique people with distinctive personalities and traits. Before you try to understand the people around you, you must first understand your own strengths and weaknesses. Learn how your strengths can spur people to action and how your weaknesses can alienate others. Once you have this knowledge, you can change your interactions with your co-workers for the better.”

Good leaders seeking to develop self-awareness should pay attention to their tendencies, habits, attitudes, and feelings, both at home and in the workplace. After taking note of their own traits, they should work on maximizing their strengths and eliminating their weaknesses. This includes making plans for dealing with situations that may upset or irritate them.

Kye Giscombe continues, “Everyone has actions or events that make them frustrated or upset in an office setting. However, it is how you respond to them that sets you apart from inexperienced, ineffective leaders. Good leaders are not ruled by their impulses or emotions. They have planned and practiced how to respond in situations that may not be comfortable or ideal.”

Developing self-awareness is the first step to becoming emotionally intelligent. In a work culture where emotional intelligence is becoming increasingly valuable, leaders who know themselves and others will set themselves up for long-term success in their respective workplaces.