In todays results driven world, survival and success are guaranteed to the fittest. We are in an era where success of an organization is increasingly dependent on people and their skills. So how do we as senior managers stay competitive in this environment when the bars to excellence are continuously rising? Analoui (1990) suggests that for a manager to be successful, he should place a great deal of importance on the assessment and development of his own potential. Hill (2003) says, “The best managers are those who have an appetite for learning and are willing to work on themselves “.
1.2 Self-Awareness and its importance
The first step towards self-development is being able to identify the areas that require development. Maslow (1970) indicates that all individuals have an inherent need for personal growth, which comes through the process called self-actualization. Self-awareness is all about how an individual is able to perceive his thoughts, behaviors and actions to affect himself and the people around him. Legrain, Cleeremans and Destrebecqz (2010) suggest that self-awareness permits one to be the subject of one’s own attention. Goleman, Boyatzis, McKee (2002) define self-awareness as “having a deep understanding of one’s emotions, as well as one’s strengths and limitations and one’s values and motives”.
Goleman (1995) states that self-awareness is key to social and emotional competence and identifies self-awareness to be the heart of emotional intelligence. As managers we face the task of managing and interacting with different kinds of people on a professional and social level. High emotional intelligence promotes better understanding of our emotions and helps us have control over our emotions especially in testing conditions, which could lead to better relationships in a workplace environment. Self-awareness aids empathy and self-management that leads to effective relationship management. Self-awareness helps mangers to understand how their reactions lead to predictable responses from his peers and subordinates, Walls (2003). This aspect of self-awareness would help me to have good relationship with my colleagues and would give good people skills with respect to managing people under my control.
Yammarino & Atwater (1992) suggest that self-perception could me made more accurate when we compare self-ratings and the feedback we receive from people around us. Similarly Wohlers & London (1989) see self-awareness as the degree to which an individual sees himself as others see him. Ashford (as cited in Fletcher & Bailey, 2003) suggests that managers with low self-awareness are likely to disregard feedback and have negative attitudes towards work. Self-awareness is challenging in this context, as it is difficult to see in us what other see. So self-awareness could be more effective when we assess our own opinion with the respect to the feedback we receive from our colleagues. Self-reflective learning also stimulates self-awareness, which...