While there seems to be a long list of skills that a great manager should possess, self awareness is definitely key.

After all, effective people management is about more than just managing tasks and making sure your team hits their deadlines. It’s about managing people, which means knowing who they are at their core and understanding their motivations, strengths and weaknesses.

However, before you can know the best way to support and manage your team, you need to first understand yourself – and there’s plenty of reasons why:

1. Helps you to understand your team

Teams are made up of a mix of people, each with their own unique set of skills, behaviours and working styles. By developing awareness of yourself, you can better understand how your own management and communication style may impact your team. This understanding helps you to flex your approach to best support and motivate each person in your team and ensure you’re managing them in the most effective way for them.

2. Helps you recognise blind spots

Everybody has blind spots or areas where they might be unaware of how their behaviour is negatively impacting others, and managers are no exception. However, by developing your self awareness and identifying these blind spots, you can work on addressing them, adapt your approach and become a more effective manager.

3. Helps you make better decisions

When you have deeper insight into yourself, you can make more informed decisions as a manager. Not only does it allow you to take a step back and consider the bigger picture, but it helps you to delegate more effectively. As once you have identified your own strengths and weaknesses, you can play to the strengths of your team and fill the gaps where other people’s expertise may be better suited.

4. Helps you to manage conflict more effectively

Conflict is inevitable within the workplace. Emotions run high, team members disagree and personalities can clash, but as a manager, it’s your job to manage it effectively. The worst thing you can do is add fuel to the fire, but unfortunately without self awareness you might end up making the whole situation worse. However, by understanding your own personality type and those of your team, you can approach conflicts more objectively and find solutions that work for everyone involved.

How can you develop your self awareness and understanding of yourself?

Personality profiling is an incredibly useful tool to help you gain a deeper understanding of your style, strengths and the way you work with others. There’s a number of different frameworks available, but Insights Discovery is a model I use with many of my own clients.

Insights uses a framework based on 4 colour energies: fiery red, sunshine yellow, earth green and cool blue. Each colour represents different management styles and traits which determines how and why people behave the way they do. This knowledge can then help you better understand your team and how to work with them more effectively.

For example, if the assessment shows you that you have majority cool blue traits, you’re generally more logical, deliberate and precious. Meaning you like to gather all the facts so that you can make an informed decision.

However, if a member of your team is fiery red, they are likely to be more action-oriented, competitive and decisive. They’re results driven and may be quick to rush in and get things done.

This difference in working styles will naturally lead to clashes and cause frustration on both sides. However, this is why it’s so important to understand yourself and how you differ from others, so that you can find the right balance and have more effective collaboration and communication.

If you would like to know more about how to book an Insights Discovery session for you and your team, get in touch on hr@pennyjoneshr.com.

Become an Evolved Manager

In the Evolved Manager Free Resource hub there’s a range of webinars and articles to develop your people managers into Evolved Managers that will support their people to reach their potential and become highly performing and engaged teams.

Sign up to the Evolved Manager Free Resources Hub here.

You can also join The Evolved Manager Community here – my free group for People Managers and HR to connect, share their values, experiences and support each other’s development.

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