Stepping Up to Self-Leadership

“I better not give them constructive feedback as they may get upset and I hate conflict.”

Limiting beliefs like these impede ourselves and others to behave in a way that is productive and positive. As a result, many suffer from stress, anxiety, resentment and performance issues. In this example, giving feedback is perceived as risky and may not feel comfortable as it could create conflict.

In many cases, we fall victim to our circumstance and this is one root cause of workplace politics. Quite frankly, it makes us feel better when we complain about others but the impact is we drag others down with us rather than find a proactive way to deal with challenges.

In Don Miquel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements, he eludes to the importance of personal integrity and proactivity in how we conduct ourselves. This can be roughly translated into doing what we say, taking responsibility for what we say, not taking things personally and avoiding assumptions. In doing this, you are stepping up to self-leadership.

Self-Leadership takes looking into a mirror and seeing what we do that enables how we behave with others.

The foundation of Self-Leadership is our ability to connect with our own ‘stuff’. This builds self-awareness, emotional connection and empathy, and allows for effective communication. By understanding and working on ourselves, we are in a better position to see our role in what is happening and take a proactive approach.

A good starting block is to create an autobiography of you. Consider how others may perceive you as well. Reflect on and document the following:

  • History: Create a lifeline of events from your toddler years until today. Notice themes, highs and lows in your life. By doing this, you will start to understand why you are who you are.
  • Personality traits: List strengths and weaknesses and discover personal challenges and opportunities that may exist as a result.
  • Triggers: Identify what sets you off. Know your reaction is valid based on your history and may not necessarily be serving you now. Consider the impact of your reaction on you and others.
  • Values and beliefs: What is your way of seeing the world? Know that your way is not necessarily true for others.

Taking a step back in knowing ourselves is critical in stepping up to Self-Leadership. It allows us to acknowledge why we behave the way we do. In doing so, we have more control in acting differently as we know the underlying reason for resistance. Behaviour is a choice.

Through self-discovery, you will notice stronger connection and communication with others and realize that others have ‘stuff’ as well.

Kwela’s Leading Self workshop enables participants to get a glimpse into themselves, the impact they have and to increase their ability to adopt new behaviours that build their individual and team strength.

Glen Sollors, Partner