Hi, my name is Jannies and I am a happiness dealer, philosophy nerd, professional speaker, and a Chief Audit Executive. I am a dedicated practitioner of emotional intelligence (EQ) and was first introduced to EQ at a tender age of 5. My father, the son of a street-side vendor, persevered against all odds and built his fortune 500 company in Asia from ground zero. As a strong believer in the power of EQ, he conducted group sessions and case studies with his three kids, using the book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, as the guide. He inspired me to continue my studies in the EQ domain.
The purpose of this post is to give you some background information on emotional intelligence (EQ), as well as share five simple ways to improve your self-awareness. Countless research has shown that one’s success (in both professional and personal life) has a high correlation with one’s EQ. Nobel Prize winning Israeli-American psychologist Daniel Kahneman found that “people would rather do business with a person they like and trust rather than someone they don’t, even if that that person is offering a better product at a lower price.” A study of Harvard graduates in business, law, medicine and teaching showed a negative or zero correlation between an IQ indicator (entrance exam scores) and subsequent career success. The good news is, you are born with a pre-determined IQ, yet EQ (which accounts for 85%+ of your success) can be learned!
This diagram illustrates the main domains of EQ.
Self-awareness is the foundation upon which all EQ skills are built. The ancient Greek aphorism, “Know thyself,” was inscribed in the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. Plato, a student of Socrates, employed the maxim “Know Thyself” extensively in his philosophical teachings.
To help you improve your self-awareness, I developed the following , “A-W-A-R-E.”
Be accountable to yourself. If you shy away from taking responsibility, you are giving away your power for betterment. Self-improvement will happen only after you recognize your flaws.
Take ownership for your actions, own up to your mistakes, and empower yourself to make a change.
If you have purpose and understand why, clarity and confidence will follow.
Ask yourself “why” before making a decision or taking action.
A positive attitude feedback-loop will form in your mind if you respond positively to your successes and failures. Exercise self-compassion and celebrate your wins, while learning from your losses. The best way to handle an unfavorable outcome is to reflect, learn, and move on. See next point on reflection.
A gratitude journal is a great mood shifter, as is being friends with a happiness dealer (I am open to new friendships)!
Meditate, reflect, be mindful. Reflect rather than deflect. Deflecting means shedding responsibilities. You can only grow if you reflect instead of placing blame on others.
A simple way to reflect is to keep a journal and document your emotions, thoughts, and progress.
Knowledge is power, and the greater self-knowledge, the more powerful you will become. Know your strengths and limitations, and act accordingly.
Take personality tests, recruit a mentor(s), form a mastermind support team, read books. Two of my favorite personality tests are the Big Five Personality (Dr. Jordan Peterson) and Myer-Briggs Type Indicator. There are many others, and I recommending starting with one.
I will end this post with the following quote, “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul." (William Earnest)
In order to own your career and life, I encourage you to start with “know thyself.” I look forward to exploring the next domain with you in the near future!
Note: I would love to hear your thoughts on self-awareness. Which action item will you take? Do they seem relatively easy to implement?