Reading Notes For: 

Self-Awareness and Discovery

The No. 1 skill of a leader is self-awareness.  Because, when there is a disconnect, a leader cannot connect with their teams or a speaker cannot connect with their audiences. For example, a speaker gives trite advice from a stage such as, “Just move on” or “Get over it,” and the audience cheers.

Often, the speaker doesn’t take into account that not everyone has the same ability to overcome or simply move on from adversity.

Warning: Self-Awareness Is Rare :  Only 10 to 15 percent of people who say they are self-aware really are,

What makes achieving true self-awareness even more difficult is that research also found that experience and power hinder our self-awareness. So the smarter you are and the more successful you become, the more difficult self-awareness can be.

Pay attention to repeated feedback from others –  it’s a sign to heed. Pay particular attention to the feedback if it makes you feel defensive. That feedback could be closer to a truth you’re unwilling to face.

It requires a conscious and ongoing effort. We all have our lapses in learning.

As leaders, people are watching us whether we like it or not. We have to AMPLIFII our level of self-awareness to include body language, facial expressions, and the behavior of actually speaking up. A diamond in the rough like Olivia can’t influence anyone by staying in the corner. She has to come out and get in the game.

But beware, practice does not make perfect.  Practice makes consistent.  Perfect practice makes perfect.

I am a big fan of The Five-Minute Journal (

Pay Attention to External Triggers

Keep a list of external factors that make you feel happy, sad, defensive, attracted, intrigued, fearful, and anything else positive or negative. Identify the triggers or indicators—negative and positive—of each.

When you allow feedback in, your empathy grows and you understand your impact on others. Feedback helps you identify personal blind spots, which if not addressed, can hinder your ability to influence.

Mindfulness or meditation, practiced for even 10 minutes a day, has been shown to increase focus and enable people to pay better attention to what is happening in the moment. This brain training also helps leaders become better listeners by allowing them to eliminate distractions.

For those unfamiliar, Mindfulness is a unique kind of meditation practice.   When practicing Mindfulness you are training your mind to just think about now, while checking in with your body.  During this time, you do not think about the past or the future.  Just now.

Mortgage Peeps – Follow us on Facebook (below or #DuaneKayeWTMS) or Twitter (@MakesYouSmarter) for daily rate lock updates.