Five ways to improve your Self Awareness

Self awareness is key to being able to develop your Emotional Intelligence.  Emotionally Intelligent leaders are aware of their emotional experience and know what they are feeling most of the time.  They have the capacity to recognise how their feelings and emotions impact on their personal opinions, attitudes and judgements.

thoughtful business woman with self reflectionHere are five ways to develop your own self awareness:

1. Carry a physical reminder – Try wearing your watch on the opposite wrist or keeping a stone in your pocket or having an elastic band on your wrist.  Anything which will cause you to stop and think at odd times during the day.  When you do notice it, stop and reflect on what emotions you are experiencing at that moment.

2. Reflect when alone – When you’re alone, such as when you’re driving home from work, reflect on your feelings and emotions over the past couple of hours.

3. Check in before and after meetings – Before and after any meetings or confrontations, particularly one-to-one encounters, reflect on how you feel and see if there is a change from before to after the meeting.

4. Consider new experiences – If you’re trying out something new or you’re confronted by a new type of challenge, write down what you are thinking or feeling about it.

5. Practise mindfulness – Put aside ten minutes a day when you can be alone and uninterrupted: sit down in an upright but relaxed posture and become aware of the sensations in your body.  Focus on your breathing, on the air going in and out of your chest.  As other thoughts creep in, as they inevitably will, as soon as you realise your mind has wandered simply take back your attention to your breathing.  Over time you will find you can observe your thoughts and feeling in a similar way to other sensations in your body.

With all of the above, don’t worry if you don’t know what caused you to have a particular emotion or feeling, just concentrate on detecting it.  Over time, as you become more aware of your feelings and emotions you will see patterns in what triggers them.  And don’t worry if you detect negative emotions; celebrate in recognising them as this gives you the opportunity to choose to do something about it.

Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” – C.G. Jung

Mike Jones specialises in developing Emotional Intelligence.  If you would like help to improve your self awareness call him now on +44 (0)1908 509088 or email

About Mike Jones

Mike Jones is an executive coach specialising in developing Emotional Intelligence through transitional and performance coaching. You can contact him directly on +44(0)7747 011 589 or via

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