You walk out of the meeting, shaking your head. You feel overwhelmed and frustrated, but you're not sure why. You just know that you're tired of these meetings always making you feel the same way: angry.
So, what could've happened here?
Any number of things. Maybe some of these resonate with you:
And the list goes on.
These are ordinary, annoying things that happen to most people in meetings. So naturally, they cause frustration, but what if you could pinpoint what made you feel that way and why?
What if you could figure out why you keep hitting your head against a brick wall in these meetings while other co-workers seem fine or may even be responding positively?
Self-awareness is the ability to see outside oneself. It's like watching yourself interact with others, like sitting in a theater watching a movie. You see yourself behaving a certain way, and then you stop and ask yourself, why did I do that? Or what caused me to feel that way?
Let's take the list from above and pinpoint some possible reasons these things frustrated you:
These may seem simple, but knowing and understanding ourselves and why we respond the way we do has a massive impact on how we work with others. And how well we lead others.
If your co-workers know that you like to operate from a clearly ordered task list, they can be mindful of that when they assign tasks to you.
Likewise, suppose you know that you don't have enough energy for an additional assignment. In that case, you can ask if anyone else might have the capacity to take it on. Or request a deadline that allows you the space you need.
So how do we start to see ourselves from the outside vantage point?
Here are a couple of ways to get going:
In some cases, the more you learn about yourself, the more you'll find yourself interested in knowing other people.
(Why does he seem so frustrated when he leaves these meetings?)
You start to ask questions and begin working on a culture that considers who each person is and what they need before assigning the work.
Then more things get done and get done well.
And maybe, just maybe, you even start to enjoy those meetings.
Read about IOL’s 1st guest contributor Ashley Buenger
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