Management skills

Self-awareness is a key component and necessity for successful management of oneself and others. The five key areas of self-awareness are important predictors of effective managerial performance.

Please respond to all of the following prompts:

The five most critical areas of self-awareness are emotional intelligence, personal values, cognitive style, orientation toward change, and core self-evaluation.

  • First, describe each of these areas and discuss why they are important to self-awareness and effective managerial performance.
  • Then discuss which areas you believe you excel in and which areas you feel you need to improve upon.
  • Lastly, what action steps can you take to improve in the areas you feel you are weakest?

Expert Answers

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Regarding "orientation toward change," I think this one trips up a lot of people. We spend a lot of energy trying to master the various aspects of our jobs, and then, invariably, something important changes. People often have a negative reaction to such a change, because it requires that they learn something new or change their behavior in some way.

People who accept the inevitability of such change more readily accept it. However, most people feel that they are negatively impacted when they are asked or required to change.

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If you are wondering how to gauge your emotional intelligence, consider how often you are aware of how others are feeling.

  • Are you ever surprised to discover that someone was sad or depressed when they confess their feelings, but you didn't see the signs? 
  • Do you know how to recognize your own emotional state and also know how to predict your own behavior based on certain emotional states? (Often, we know we're in a bad mood, yet don't think ahead to how we will interact with others as a result...) 
  • Do you have strategies for improving your own mood and the moods of others? 
  • Can you recognize the interpersonal dynamics in group settings? 

All these questions relate to emotional intelligence and the answers you give will help you to tell where you fall on the scale, from high to low.

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That's quite an assignment!  I will reflect for a moment on orientation towards change, an area I believe to be of crucial importance in today's business environment.  One's orientation towards change is contagious amongst one's employees, creating a true top-down kind of atmosphere in the workplace.  There are two ways in which one's orientation concerning change can do this.  If you are someone who embraces change, you will be a good model for when change happens, which it inevitably does, but you may also have a tendency to embrace change uncritically and without the empathy necessary to lead those who do not embrace change.  Alternatively, you may have a change-resistant personality, which means you will be making a poor model for changes in your business environment.  Whichever way you tend, it is quite important to have some insight into this, since your own attitude will be reflected, for better or worse, by all around you. 

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