13 questions to increase your self-awareness

Often, when I’m giving a talk at a conference or working with a team, the issue of self-awareness comes up. It’s something that’s central to servant leadership and foundational to so many other critical leadership competencies. But it can also seem a bit elusive, and so sometimes, someone will say something like this to me: “I’m on board and want to get better at self-awareness, but how do I do it?”

The answer to this question will vary from person to person, and so I’d always encourage you to kind of think about what might work best for you; but as many of you know by now, I’m a big fan of using questions to promote thinking, learning, and growth. That extends to my own thinking, learning, and growth too.

With that in mind, I thought it might be helpful to provide the sorts of questions I chew through during my times of mindfulness and reflection. Depending on the day I’ve had and the things I’ve struggled with, I might spend more time really doing a deep dive on one or two of these; while other days I’ll go through all of them. Feel free, of course, to take or leave any of these. My suggestion would be to just use these as a jumping off point for your own self-awareness exercise. Then you can figure out what works for you and go from there.

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