A Career Coach on How to Cultivate Self-Awareness|
Nearly everyone has had that moment when they say to themselves, “I don’t know what I want but I know it’s not this.” And if you haven’t had it yet, you will. But this isn’t a bad thing. The key is recognizing it, and moving on to something you do, in fact, want.
That’s where Julie Jansen comes in. A career coach and author of I Don’t Know What I Want But I Know It’s Not This, talked to us during a recent Office Hours chat about how to find success, cultivating self-awareness, the art of teaching oneself to listen and more. Here are the top 5 questions from the Office Hours audience.
Self-awareness: I know I have a big personality, but I’m not sure how to manage it. Any tips?
Regardless of what your personality type is, there will be elements that are very positive and those that may not be as positive. Sometimes it is just a matter of overusing a strength. At the risk of making an assumption, you may be talkative, bold, extroverted, loud or happy. I think the key to managing your personality is to read others – that is their personality and cues they are projecting and respond appropriately. What most people do is simply default into their natural style without taking into account the other person or people first. I learned how to do this through coaching as I tend to have a big personality too and by always paying attention to the other person first, you can manage those elements of your style that may be challenging for others.
How can you politely let someone else know when they’re not being self-aware?
Always talk about how business results are being impacted first. So for example, if someone sits near you in a cubicle and talks on the phone constantly to his friends, you can say, “Perhaps you may not be aware of this, however, your voice really carries when you are on the phone and when I hear it, I am unable to concentrate on my work. When this happens I have to go somewhere else to finish my work. I would rather stay in my cubicle.” This is a simple example, but hopefully explains my point.
How did you find your mantra?
When I am tense, frustrated or uptight I lose sight of my sense of humor. I came up with something that makes me laugh and this works every time!
How do you teach yourself to want to listen?
The only thing I can think of is that you probably need to realize through experience that active listening is a well-regarded and highly useful communication tool that is worth working on. I recommend the book The Zen of Listening.
How can you tell if you’ll mesh with the company culture?
Well you have to be pretty self-aware first in order to understand what makes you thrive and feel satisfied. For example, as strange as it sounds, I don’t do well in an environment that is too casual. I wear jeans on the weekends like everyone, but I don’t want to wear jeans every day. On the other hand, I hate having to report in constantly to let people know where I am, so being in my own business is ideal because I am only evaluated by results not my schedule. Also, realizing that there are many aspects of a corporate/company culture. History, celebrations, the way people communicate, how success is defined, the way people dress, etc. And learning how to ask the right questions while interviewing and observing people in the parking lot and receptionist area.
Photo courtesy of Drop of Indigo