Mirror, Mirror: Mastering Self-Reflection for Leaders

Man looking at his reflection

When heading to a conference or a significant event, we strive to present our best selves -ensuring our attire is impeccable, our hair is neat, and our overall appearance exudes confidence. 
How do we achieve this? We turn to the mirror for a self-assessment.  
This initial evaluation allows us to spot the slightest crumple in our suit or dress, ensure our hair is well-combed, and check for any imperfections in our overall appearance. To finalise our assessment, and provide a more reliable and accurate view of our look, we then turn to the people we trust - be it our friends, a family member, a partner, or a spouse - to ask for their opinions on how we look. Based on their feedback, we then make the necessary changes to enhance our overall appearance. 

In the same vein, just as we care about our outward appearance, it is equally important for us leaders to engage in regular inward self-reflections and evaluations. 

In the realm of Emotional Intelligence, this concept is known as Accurate Self-Assessment.

What is Accurate Self-Assessment? 

Accurate Self-Assessment is the ability to have an inner awareness of your strengths and limitations. It is an honest evaluation of your current status, competencies, and progress towards your goals. This no-holds-barred exploration of yourself is essential to identify areas for improvement, confirm what needs to be stopped, and evaluate your progress. 

People who possess this competency are reflective, open to feedback, and always eager to learn and grow. They never shy away from asking for help and actively engage in continuous learning and self-development. They have a keen sense of their capabilities and know what they can and cannot do. This makes them highly effective in their roles and sets them apart from their peers. 

Developing this competency will enhance your overall effectiveness and will help you achieve your personal and professional goals. It's as crucial as checking oneself in the mirror daily. So, if you want to make a mark in your personal and professional life, start developing this skill and see the difference it makes.

Accurate Self-Assessment: A Crucial Yet Overlooked Leadership Competency 

As a business leader, you might be used to conducting performance reviews and evaluations with your team members. You consider this to be a standard practice as it offers constructive feedback that will help your team assess themselves and perform their tasks better. 

However, the question here is: As the leader, who evaluates your performance? 

I am asking you this question because it has become a common occurrence in the business world that as one ascends the ranks, this competency tends to be overlooked and underdeveloped due to fewer opportunities for constructive feedback. Ironically, it is precisely at higher leadership levels that this competency becomes more crucial.

The Benefits of Self-assessment in Leadership 

Like your team members, you, as their leader, also need feedback.  
Getting feedback will help you enhance self-awareness, understand your strengths and weaknesses, and proactively identify behaviours and habits that will impact your relationships and productivity. 

A self-assessment will serve as a personal SWOT analysis that will guide you in formulating plans to reach your goals faster. 

Sharing self-assessment practices with your team members will foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement. It instils transparency, exposes vulnerability, and encourages honest communication within your organisation.

Developing Accurate Self-Assessment 

Developing Accurate Self-Assessment is pivotal if you want to evolve in your role as a leader. To master this competency effectively, you need to employ the following strategies: 

Request for feedback from time to time and accept it without becoming defensive.  

This can be a really difficult thing to do for most people.  

But, if you are seeking to strengthen your Accurate Self-Assessment, you need to proactively seek input from your trusted family members, colleagues, team members, or mentors. 

Creating an environment where constructive feedback is encouraged is crucial for you to grow as a leader. 

When receiving feedback, it is important that you resist the instinct to be defensive. When you do this, you not only grow as a leader but foster a culture of open communication in your organisation. 

Consider Getting a Coach. 

Getting yourself a professional coach will be a great help in developing this competency. A coach will provide you with tailored guidance and objective insights.  

Coaches offer a unique advantage by bringing an unbiased perspective to the self-assessment process. This lack of bias ensures that feedback is objective, focused, and free from internal organisational dynamics. 

At People Builders, we have a team of expert coaches who will help you improve your self-assessment skills and take your professional development to the next level. Our coaches are highly experienced and will tailor their approach to meet your unique needs and circumstances. 

Make it safe for people to give you feedback

Cultivating a safe space for honest feedback within the team is essential. As the leader, you need to encourage open communication within your team, ensuring that they feel comfortable sharing insights without fear of reprisal. 

Embrace new insights and learnings. 

A commitment to ongoing learning is important to mastering Accurate Self-Assessment. As the team's leader, you need to remain open to new insights and unconventional perspectives. When you do this, you foster a mindset of continuous growth and adaptability. 

Utilise assessment tools for a deeper understanding of strengths and weaknesses. 

Incorporating various assessment tools, such as personality, leadership or communication style profiles, provides a structured framework for self-reflection. These tools offer a systematic approach to gaining deeper insights into your personal and professional attributes. 

Ask others for their insights on your strengths and weaknesses. 

In the Johari Window, there are aspects unknown to you but known to others.  
Therefore, to have an Accurate Self-Assessment, you need to actively seek the insights of others regarding your strengths and weaknesses. By reaching out to colleagues, team members, mentors, or trusted individuals, you gain a more holistic view of your capabilities. 

Commit to Lifelong Learning. 

A commitment to continuous improvement is foundational for leaders.  
Embracing professional and personal growth opportunities will help you stay attuned to evolving challenges and opportunities, contributing to your ongoing development. 

Encourage a Culture of Risk-Taking and Learning from Failure. 

As the leader, you play a pivotal role in shaping your organisational culture.  
Therefore, encourage your team members to take measured risks. When you do this, you foster a culture of innovation and resilience. 

Embracing failure as a natural part of the learning process contributes to a culture of continuous improvement and adaptability.

Mastering Self-Reflection: A Leadership Imperative for Navigating Challenges and Fostering Growth 

Mastering self-reflection is not only a personal journey but a leadership must-have.  

will empower you to navigate challenges, inspire continuous improvement, and build a thriving organisational culture. 

By embracing this competency, you will truly lead by example and foster a workplace culture where growth, transparency, and resilience thrive.

We are Here to Help 

At People Builders, we have a team of expert trainers and coaches who will help you and your team develop Accurate Self-Assessment and many other competencies.   

Contact us today for a quick chat to see how we can partner with you to train and coach you and your team. If you want to become a certified trainer and coach in Social and Emotional Intelligence or Extended DISC Behavioural Profiling, find out how by visiting thePeople Builders Institutewebsite.  





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