The emotional intelligence skill of self-awareness is often referred to as the MEGA soft skill for life and business success. And for a good reason. Because that which you are not aware of you cannot change. And that which you are not aware of you are bound to repeat.
But what happens when you have low self-awareness in the workplace?
Without the EQ skill of self-awareness, hardworking sales managers continue to make the same leadership mistakes over and over and over.
So what are the signs of low self-awareness among your sales leadership team?
Here are a few scenarios that demonstrate how to recognize low self-awareness in the workplace and see how it impacts sales management success.
Low Self-Awareness Impacts Relationship Building and Coaching
I’ve been a member of the hurried and harried club. However, I wasn’t really aware of how this approach to business affected my success as a leader. I had a “duh” moment around the impact of this approach to business following three different conversations that all started the same way.
“I know you are really busy so I will make this quick.”
For some reason, I had a lightbulb moment. I became aware of my behavior which was conveying a very loud message, “Hurry up….we don’t have a lot of time.”
Low self-awareness around this blind spot was affecting my ability to hold deeper conversations with members of my team. People felt like they needed to speed talk through the conversation.
Some salespeople on my team probably held back agenda items because of my “I’m busy signal.”
Low self-awareness impacted building deeper relationships because building connections and trust is not a hurry up and get “R” done event.
Worried You Struggle from Low Self Awareness?
If you're a sales leader who thinks you might have a problem with low self-awareness, the good news is that self-awareness is a skill that can be learned and improved.
Download our free infographic, 10 Signs You Lack Self-Awareness.
Low Self-Awareness Leads to Too Much Telling and Too Little Coaching
Here’s a hypothetical coaching opportunity. A salesperson brings a challenge to their sales manager. Without self-awareness, the sales leader immediately offers up ideas and solutions before understanding the full context of the question or challenge.
The sales manager has just turned into a professional teller. As a result, a salesperson’s learning and growth is stunted.
Low self-awareness in the workplace creates sales leaders who come up with all the answers, rather than coaching their salespeople how to think, problem solve and be confident in their decision making.
Sales Managers with Low Self-Awareness Emotionally Trigger People
Sales managers with low self-awareness often don’t recognize how they “land on other people.” As human beings, we don’t see ourselves the way other see us.
You think you are being assertive in a meeting---but everyone else sees you as a bull in a china shop.
You see yourself as a passionate supporter of an initiative. Everyone else sees you as a loose cannon.
You see yourself as confident and self-assured. Others see you as arrogant and pompous.
How Do I Improve My Low Self Awareness?
If you're a sales leader who thinks you might have a problem with low self-awareness, the good news is that emotional intelligence skills can be learned and improved.
Take these five steps to build this important emotional intelligence skill.
- Carve out quiet time every day to reflect on how you showed up that day. Practice the habits of Benjamin Franklin. He identified 13 virtues and at the end of the day he evaluated himself. He placed a dot next to each virtue that he didn’t demonstrate that day. His goal was to minimize the number of marks, thus indicating a “clean” life free of vice. Now, that’s a practice that demonstrates and builds self-awareness.
- Find a trusted colleague and ask them for feedback on blind spots. (They are called blind spots for a reason.) This is a colleague who has your back. Their only motive is to help you become the best version of yourself by telling you the truth.
- Pay attention. I mean really pay attention. Stop talking. Look up and around to observe how your actions are landing on others. It can be as simple as watching for a change in body language, listening for a change in tonality or sensing there is a question that should be asked that is not being asked.
- Ask members of your sales team for help. If you’ve identified an area for improvement, give your sales team permission to point out when you are falling into non-productive behaviors. For example, when you start giving advice before asking the salesperson for their perspective, ask your sales team to hold up “the hand.” This physical cue is a fun and effective way to change your pattern of being a professional teller.
- Lose the ego. You’ve had a lot of success in your life. However, life is a continuous journey of learning and improvement. Be aware that you are not always aware of how your actions affect others.
Self-awareness is the MEGA emotional intelligence skill. Improve your self-awareness and you will improve your other awareness. When sales leaders suffer from low self awareness, they are bound to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.
This can lead to poor relationships with customers, prospects, and team members–as well as too little coaching, and an office that is constantly being emotionally triggered.
Low self-awareness keeps sales leaders from recognizing the patterns and cycles that are holding them back. Sales managers with low self-awareness will continuously make the same mistakes in their relationships, never realizing that their negative behavior is contributing to problems.
By developing your self -awareness muscle you begin to reflect on your actions, adjust how to approach these situations differently, and achieve a better outcome.
Wondering...is it me or them? Discover specific emotional intelligence skills that will improve your sales leadership results. Take our short Self-Awareness Quiz for Effective Sales Management.
I’m reading your book now. I’m a new manager on my own – building a team in Nashville. I’ve hit some big snags in 5 mo and my most recent one seems alot to handle. I’m going to be more self aware – and work on myself to help my new team
Congratulations on recognizing this and putting a plan into to action to help you and your team. I’ll have Julie send you a couple of pdfs to help you as you read through the book. Looking forward to hearing your success stories!