A survey of 75 members of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Advisory Council found that self-awareness is the most important competency for leaders to achieve. By understanding yourself and others, you are better placed to fully engage, motivate, and inspire.

When the leader then encourages his or her people to also practice self-awareness as an everyday value of the organization, he or she will be providing the foundation necessary in the modern business to promote creativity, innovation, agility, and the ability to change.

Explore and understand the natural you with a leadership style assessment.

The starting point for improved self-awareness is gathering some data. This may be anecdotal, feedback based or more ideally in the form of a 360-deg. leadership style assessment. The latter is generally really helpful as it allows you to see how you show up in the world of people around you and compare that to your own self-perception. Be prepared some surprises!

Having gathered the data, the journey to understanding begins. As self-awareness grows you will become more conscious of your talents and strengths as well as any potential limitations. In turn, with a heightened level of self-awareness and heightened emotional intelligence, you’ll be more adept at building collaborative leadership partnerships. Ultimately you will be more effective as a colleague and a leader.

How leadership style assessments help

Typically leadership style assessments measure individual scoring on a series of competencies, normed against a control group to provided percentile results. The higher the percentile, the higher the performance. The Leadership Circle 360 Profile is regarded as one of the world’s premier leadership assessments and is based on a synthesis of research from renowned academics such as Bob Kegan, Lisa Lahey, Bill Torbert and Daniel Goleman. It highlights 19 Creative Competencies that enable leaders to create high-performing sustainable teams and organisations. Unusually it also highlights 11 potentially limiting Reactive Tendencies that yield short-term results but are limited in value.

A study by the Industrial Psychology Department at Bowling Green State University examined the LCP and determined that there is a 0.93 correlation between business performance and scoring highly in Creative Competencies and a -0.76 correlation between business performance and Reactive Tendencies

Such high correlations show that improving performance in specific areas and limiting the adverse effect of others will increase your overall effectiveness as a leader.

How can an Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQi) assessment help with self-awareness?

Research from Rutgers University suggests that emotional intelligence accounts for nearly 90% of what sets high performing leaders apart from their peers. Emotional intelligence is defined as your ability to understand and manage your own emotions, as well as recognize and influence the emotions of those around you.

In a separate study, Telecom New Zealand found that EQ-I scores accounted for 48% of the difference between high and low performing leaders. Put another way, almost half of the skillsets required for effective leadership is emotional and social skills.

Understanding this relationship, here at Primeast we utilize a 360-degree process that measures not eight, but 15 subscales of emotional intelligence and social functioning.

Five benefits of completing a leadership style assessment:

  1. Recognizing current thoughts, actions, and behaviours.
  2. Gaining a higher level of self-awareness and recognizing your impact on others.
  3. Understanding your triggers that may drive unhelpful behaviour.
  4. Reflecting and improving awareness of how you interact with others.
  5. Highlighting personal training and development opportunities for more effective leadership.

From this starting point you can identify the specific areas of emotional intelligence and leadership competence that will help you the most. If you have a coach the insights will undoubtedly provide the basis for powerful conversations and if you are willing, lead to your transformation as a leader.

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