Self-awareness is an essential leadership trait. Self-aware leaders are open to change and challenge assumptions. From the perspective of business coaching, self-aware leadership finds the scaling process easier and more natural. Self-awareness is the key to leaders’ self-mastery.

“The most important conversations you’ll ever have are the ones you’ll have with yourself.” – David Goggins. 

Our internal monologues or dialogues are important parts of who we are. Appearing as a result of the maturation of the brain, the internal monologue is a handy tool for establishing and developing self-awareness. From the perspective of leadership and leadership coaching, self-awareness is an essential component of emotional intelligence. There can be no intelligent leadership without it.

self awareness

Self-awareness allows us to self-correct and grow.

Strong leaders have well-developed senses of self-worth and are self-aware. They don’t need or seek others’ approval. By definition, self-awareness is the conscious knowledge of our character, biases, motivations, and desires. Self-aware leaders understand how their characters and biases shape their decisions. By exercising self-control, they can defeat negative thoughts their characters and biases may trigger.

In addition to decision-making, self-awareness defines our creativity, our abilities to learn and grow, and self-fulfillment. The bad news is that not all leaders are as self-aware as they could or should be. However, leadership coaching can help leaders develop self-awareness through introspection and proactive self-engagement.

They say excellence is a habit, but so is self-awareness. Here’s what leaders can do to practice self-awareness daily.

Developing the Courage Honest Introspection

“The easiest person to deceive is one’s own self.” – Edward George Bulwer-Lytton. 

It’s easy to deceive ourselves. Many of us choose this easy path to what we may perceive as self-awareness. Unlike self-deceit, true self-awareness requires courage. Being honest with ourselves may seem akin to negative self-talk, but there’s a key difference between the two. Negative self-talk anchors itself to non-existent ideas we perceive as real. Self-awareness is rooted in undeniable facts.

To develop the courage of honest introspection, leaders can ask themselves a few questions and answer them honestly. Such questions may be:

  • How did I invest my energy and time today?
  • Have I made any meaningful progress toward a goal?
  • Did I learn anything?
  • Did I help anyone?
  • What inspired me?
  • Did I waste energy by investing it in the wrong venture?

Self-awareness and change seem to go hand-in-hand. A major life change is often responsible for triggering a bout of introspection that enhances self-awareness. Being self-aware allows leaders to embrace and control change.

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always be where you’ve always been.” – T.D. Jakes. 

Practicing Mindfulness

Executive coaching sees the daily practice of mindfulness as one of the most straightforward ways to enhance self-awareness. It’s also simple and easy to do.

All it takes is five minutes in the morning and five in the evening to become aware of your surroundings, the processes you go through during the day, and the people with whom you interact.

Executive coaching specialists advise leaders to note observations and set goals in the morning. In the evening, they can assess the progress they make and the value they create. They can also add to-dos for the following morning.

Taking Short Breaks During Work

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes…Including you. ” – Anne Lamott. 

We tend to feel guilty for taking breaks. Leadership coaching encourages leaders to overcome this sense of guilt and take deep breaths while observing themselves, their environments, and their conditions. Such breaks allow leaders to be present and maintain focus.

Remaining Curious

Curiosity is the genuine precursor of mastery. Business coaching professionals understand that curious leaders find it easier to scale their organizations. Their curiosity challenges their assumptions, and such leaders are more likely to assume positive intent.


Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it has powered innovation and discovery. 

Self-awareness is the key to self-mastery. Self-awareness allows leaders to develop emotional intelligence and take their leadership presences to higher levels. Self-aware leaders challenge assumptions (including their own). They also work more effectively on ensuring the sustainable success of their organizations.



Back to blog