Learn
Learn
Close

They Ask, You Answer

A revolutionary approach to inbound sales, content marketing, and today’s digital consumer.

Learn MoreLearn More

Free Courses in IMPACT+

Dozens of sales, marketing, and content courses inside IMPACT+. Start learning now.

See all coursesSee all courses
Events
Events
Close
IMPACT+ Membership
IMPACT+ Membership
Close
Coaching & Implementation Services
Coaching & Implementation Services
Close

Services Overview

See how you can dramatically increase your inbound leads and sales.

Services Overview

Digital Sales and Marketing Mastery

Fast track your team’s success with IMPACT's most popular service.

Digital Sales and Marketing Mastery

Web Design

Launch a beautiful website that consistently generates leads and revenue.

Web Design

Virtual Sales Training

Equip your sales team with comprehensive training designed to help them close more deals in today's virtual-first world.

Virtual Sales Training

HubSpot Training & Implementation

Train your company to take ownership of HubSpot and get the most out of your investment.

HubSpot Training & Implementation

Case Studies

See dozens of examples of companies succeeding with Digital Sales and Marketing Mastery and They Ask, You Answer.

Case Studies
Become a Coach
Become a Coach
Close

Leadership development: Why we need to develop awareness in ourselves and others

Leadership development: Why we need to develop awareness in ourselves and others Blog Feature

Chris Duprey

Chief Learning Officer and Coach, 10+ Years in Business Development & Leadership, Former Infantry Officer

May 11th, 2020 min read

At IMPACT, we consider  awareness (specifically, self-awareness) to be the most important attribute in each of our employees, as we've found it is the #1 indicator of who will, ultimately, make a successful hire for our team — from our managers and organizational leaders, to our specialists and implementers.

But what does awareness as a leader and as an individual contributor really look like? And are we as self-aware as we think we are? That's what this piece seeks to explore, with a goal of challenging us to answer those questions truthfully for ourselves.

Awareness — specifically, self-awareness — is something that almost everyone claims they have. The tricky part, however, is that people who lack awareness have no idea that they lack it, because of how unaware they actually are. 

So, how do you know how aware or not aware you are?

Think of all those times you’ve been driving in your car to work and the only thing you are aware of is that you got to work. You don’t remember how the drive went, whether you saw anything beautiful or interesting, or even were conscious of making any turns.

You simply remember getting into your car and then — poof! — you arrived at work.

Guess what? This is not what being aware is like.

"But, Chris, is that level of awareness really necessary to be a better leader, contributor, and teammate?"

Yes, as we must first acknowledge how much we go through our lives on autopilot, not present, and unaware of what is happening around us. We slip into those modes so easily, and we must challenge ourselves to recognize how many other times we do this.

At home and at the office.

So, as we think about awareness and how most people lack a high-level of awareness — even with the best of intentions — the obvious question becomes how do we train people (and ourselves) to become more aware?

🔎 Related: The ultimate guide to inbound leadership

More specifically, how do we fully develop and hone this skill of self-awareness like any other skill we teach people in school or in job training?

Before we focus on how we teach and train on self-awareness, however, we need to understand what is getting in the way of people being as aware as they think, as well as how we overcome that.

When I think of awareness, I think of it as a multifaceted thing.

On one level, there is self-awareness — knowing how we see ourselves (internal awareness) and knowing how others see us (external awareness). The knowing here is beyond how we want to see ourselves and be seen, it is actually how we see ourselves… or self-awareness.

On another level is others-awareness, which is something I don’t think gets talked about at all, and it very much should be. This is where we know how to read a room and to understand those around us (internal), and how our presence impacts those around us (external).

When we look at these two concepts independently, and how one (self-awareness) leads into the other, it's clear as day why awareness needs to be a cornerstone of any leadership training

Why is it so hard then?

Reality is difficult.

It is something that our own minds try to keep us from seeing on a daily, hourly, and moment by moment interplay. Think about that — our own body is trying to keep us from seeing reality as it is, because our mind's #1 goal is to protect us from what might hurt us. 

Especially reality. 

Our brains, like us, developed over time through evolution, and the winners in evolution are those that pass their DNA to the next generation. This is why our fight or flight responses are so strong. This is why we may see a snake on a path in woods when it is really just a stick.

🔎 Related: Why is self-awareness the #1 thing we look for in a hire?

A lack of awareness is our minds' way of ensuring we get our genes into the next generation.

I remind us of this because our minds do this to us even in situations that aren’t life and death — like when we get in our cars and commute to work. They play into our desires and cravings for pleasant experiences. Our mind doesn’t want us to know that we’re going to die, that nothing will last, that everything is in a constant state of change…

So, when people believe they’re aware, most of the time, they aren't. Instead, they are in a blissfully ignorant state, where the mind is shielding them from what is real — how we impact others, how others perceive us and our actions, and so on — so we can feel good.

“You’re doing great! Everyone loves you… the way you handled that situation was spot on. How could Jim have done that, he was so off-base? None of what happened had anything to do with you…”

This is your brain making up a beautiful narrative that will help you feel like you’re doing great as a leader, as an individual contributor, as a teammate, as a manager, and as an employee.

Here's the thing, though. It's all crap, or at least some of it is.

How do we create awareness for ourselves and encourage it within others?

In order to improve our own awareness as leaders and/or contributors — and train others (leaders in waiting, new managers, seasoned organizational visionaries) — we need to break through the traps and the shackles our minds have built for us. 

We have to be able to disengage from the story we tell ourselves — the fictions our minds try to trick us into believing, for better or for worse — and understand what actually happened.

In that conversation with a teammate. 

In that one-on-one with a direct report.

In that all-hands meeting, where a big announcement was met with luke warm reception.

We do this by challenging ourselves whenever possible to answer the following four questions as openly and as honestly as possible.

  1. What’s the story I’m telling right now?

  2. What’s true?

  3. What’s possible?

  4. Could I have been wrong?

Then, when our direct reports come to us with their own fears, worries, concerns, or assumptions, we go out of our way to train this way of questioning ourselves as a reflex within them. We challenge them to acknowledge their own stories, what is actually true, what is possible, and where they could have been wrong. 

Only then can we achieve the awareness within ourselves and our organizations that will help us achieve our most audacious and aggressive growth goals.

Want to learn more about digital sales and marketing?

Master digital sales and marketing when you join IMPACT+ for FREE. Gain instant access to exclusive courses and keynotes taught by Marcus Sheridan, Brian Halligan, Liz Moorehead, Ann Handley, David Cancel, Carina Duffy, Zach Basner, and more.

Sign up for free
Take a peek

Access hundreds of FREE courses and keynotes

Free Course
Digital Sales & Marketing Framework for Today’s Buyers
By: Marcus Sheridan
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
A New Way to Compete & Win
By: Brian Halligan
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Virtual Keynote
How To Genuinely Feel Confident, Be Likable, And Build Trust On Camera
By: Liz Moorehead
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
The Future of Marketing is Conversational​
By: David Cancel
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Deep Dive
HubSpot On a Budget: Getting Started with HubSpot Starter Hubs
By: Courtney Caldwell
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Assignment Selling: Content is Your Greatest Sales Tool
By: Marcus Sheridan
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
The Big, Bold, Brave New World of Marketing​
By: Ann Handley
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Investing in Incredible Digital Sales and Marketing Results
By: Chris Duprey
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
How To Show Your Content Makes Money With HubSpot Marketing and Sales Hubs
By: Liz Moorehead
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Virtual Keynote
The Visual Sale
By: Marcus Sheridan & Tyler Lessard
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
Marketing Tech: What’s Now, What’s Near and What’s Not Anytime Soon?​
By: Dharmesh Shah
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Inbound Lead Generation & Conversion Optimization
By: Carina Duffy
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Virtual Keynote
Fundamentals of Videography: You Can Be a Great Videographer Too
By: Zach Basner
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Deep Dive
The Ultimate Customer Service Toolkit for Any Budget
By: Andriti Gulati
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
6 Topics Subject Matter Experts Need to Address
By: Kevin Phillips
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
Fanocracy: The Power of Making Business Personal​
By: David Meerman Scott
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
The Power of Pillar Content
By: Liz Moorehead
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
SEO for the Future
By: Franco Valentino
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Fundamentals of Social Media Marketing
By: Stephanie Baiocchi
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Deep Dive
A Practical Guide To Video Graphics
By: Colton Trcic
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Session
How To Get Your Community To Know, Like, And Trust You With Video
By: Marki Lemons Rhyal
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Video Sales and Marketing Strategy
By: Zach Basner
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Here Are Some Related Articles You May Find Interesting

Want to Contribute Content to impactplus.com? Click Here.

IMPACT+ Sign Up
A FREE online learning community with on-demand courses, hundreds of expert-led sessions, thousands of your peers ready to support you, and much more.
Check it out
Hundreds of courses and recorded keynotes, completely FREE
Check it out
Access hundreds of digital sales and marketing courses and recorded keynotes, completely FREE