Enhance Your Leadership Style Through Self-Awareness

A recent article from Frank Kalman, associate editor for Chief Learning Officer magazine, presents an interesting perspective on how moral intelligence is a necessary element of leadership development. The best ways to lead require characteristics of compassion, integrity, forgiveness and responsibility. However, to be able to manifest these qualities, self-awareness must come first.

Being a great leader requires an array of qualities and characteristics, but there are many pieces that must fit together to make the puzzle complete. How can you develop into a more effective and successful leader? The key ingredient in this mix could be an idea dubbed as moral intelligence, which is the ability to lead with four core principles at the heart of your repertoire:  forgiveness, compassion, integrity and responsibility.

Different from moral competence – the ability to know when one is or is not acting morally – moral intelligence means knowing how to lead with these traits. Doing so may not only improve the soft success of a leader, but the bottom line for the organization he or she leads.

Having forgiveness, compassion, integrity and responsibility as your core principles will reinforce trust from your workforce, inspire and promote innovation and can also gain better retention levels from your employees. Stepping into a leadership role can induce a whirlwind of tendencies and habits that can be detrimental to the organization. One way to work around this obstacle is to be self-aware of your new role within the organization.

Nurturing and cultivating your moral intelligence often needs a little attention, a little refreshment. To reach a leadership level, one has been through years and years of training and often morals can get lost in the trek. Pay attention to the smaller details, like when an employee needs a little one-on-one time to improve his or her performance. They can look up to you after such an interaction, they will know that you are there to offer support and advice. Showing support and respect to your employees can get you much further than being the ‘hard-core’ boss that reaches organizational goals.

Some leaders often become too distracted or loose sight of their own behaviors, which leads to irrational decision making. Irrational decision making trumps IQ every time. The way the brain works, practice makes permanent, so people can actually learn to be very self aware … That’s the skill few people have mastered.

Learning to be aware of your behaviors and tendencies can change you for the better. This can also allow you to find greater success not only for yourself, but for your employees and for the organization as a whole. Leadership self-awareness is often underrated and poorly financed. This is a step you must choose to make – and watch the success roll in. To read more about how self-awareness can enhance your leadership style, click here to read the full article.

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