Individual Development Plans Tailored for Leadership: Self-Awareness

– Posted in: Executive Coaching Introvert Coaching Leadership Coaching Performance Coaching

In tailoring an Individual Development Plan for Leaders, the one item I recommend every leader should have within their plan is that of understanding their (self-awareness & strengths) They both go together, so I combine them as I look at self-awareness as a strength a leader must have in their role.

Typically, to get to know my clients, I have them take either the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or David Keirsey’s Temperament Sorter. They both yield the result of a personality preference 4-letter code. The reason I have my client’s take either assessment is 2 fold: (1) I have a better idea of who they are through their personality and (2) it helps me know the best way to coach them. This also tells me how self-aware my clients are of themselves and of the people around them.

The IDP assesses each leader’s individual growth opportunities, and provides focused, one-on-one executive coaching that concentrates on 2 to 3 major potential-maximizing developmental objectives in a process that fully engages the executive.

Self-Awareness essentially is having a clear perception of your personality, including strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions. Self-awareness allows you to understand other people, how they perceive you, your attitude and your responses to them in the moment.

As a professional growth tool, the Individual Development plan (IDP). Individual development is an essential component of leadership excellence because it increases competency in developing others. Before you can be a leader, you need to understand yourself more. This involves being self-aware of not just who you are which includes your thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

Leadership is complex enough. Self-awareness is the first step, the cornerstone, of leadership. Even though I bring up the fact that the leader needs to be self-aware in various …, a lot of the work is still on the leader. Leadership literature confirms that emotional intelligence, presence, and influence all require awareness.

A survey of 75 members of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Advisory Council rated self-awareness as the most important capability for leaders to develop. Executives need to know where their natural inclinations lie in order to boost them or compensate for them. Self-awareness is about identifying idiosyncrasies- the characteristics executives take to be the norm but actually represent the exception.

The International Coach Federation’s (ICF) coach competency for Creating Awareness is as follows: Creating Awareness—Ability to integrate and accurately evaluate multiple sources of information and to make interpretations that help the client to gain awareness and thereby achieve agreed‐upon results.

When you are self-aware, you are mindful of the impact that your emotions, your behavior, your communication patterns have on those around you. Strong leaders take time to reflect on their strengths and development needs.

Coaches create awareness in leaders when they integrate and accurately evaluate multiple sources of information and make interpretations that help the leader to become more self‐aware and thereby achieve agreed‐upon results. Effective demonstration of this competency is especially important when analyzing and interpreting an Individual Feedback Report(IFR) with a leader.

Without self-awareness, you cannot understand your strengths and your weaknesses. Be aware of others. Your self-awareness as a leader is crucial when building and keeping your team. Knowing your natural strengths and weaknesses helps you be an acute observer of others’ strengths and weaknesses. Having the right complement of people and support allows you to see more clearly what you do well and what others do well also.

Never underestimate the power of self-awareness. Commit to an Action Plan to achieve desired results. Focus on building a leaders self-awareness and knowledge of their strengths and areas of development. Feedback from others increases your self-awareness as you identify gaps in your skills as well as in your perception of the things around you.

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