ACE the A’s of self-awareness.

Verizon’s Aswin Lakshmanan explores self-awareness as a continuous journey and an everyday pursuit.

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Self-awareness occurs at the intersection of the thoughts and feelings we have about ourselves become synchronized and aligned to how other people perceive and understand us. It is the ability to see oneself clearly and objectively through reflection and introspection. 

Global Network and Technology V Teamer Aswin Lakshmanan shares his tips on how to navigate the journey of self-awareness. Learn how to improve self-awareness skills in the workplace and meet your professional development goals.

Aswin Lakshmanan, Director, Strategy & Planning, Verizon India

What does it take to be self-aware?

Have you ever been in a situation when you genuinely wanted to help a colleague or a team member, only to realize that they were looking at you as a micromanager or an unnecessary intruder? Were there times when you got an appreciation for an initiative from an area where you least expected it?

Self-awareness is an important goal to work toward as it can be an ACE up one’s sleeve in both professional and personal settings. 

  • As an individual, it equips us to Aspire high with Confidence and Emotional stability.
  • As a team/family member it enables us to Align people and their thoughts with Care and Empathy.
  • And as a leader, it helps Achieve results with Consistency and Efficiency.

Throughout our professional and personal lives, we face challenging situations where the outcome is not always what we expected. Times like these are opportunities for us to step back, reflect, and expand our true selves by slowly uncovering all our blind spots.

Build internal awareness.

Becoming self-aware starts with internal awareness through the following steps:

  • Awakening our minds. Open your mind to see different points of view. An awakened mind is free of inhibitions and welcomes thoughts, implicit learnings, and experiences.
  • Alignment of heart. With the accumulation of information, the mind persuades the heart to see the facts. This is when the heart and mind are aligned to see and visualize clearly. 
  • Analyze the facts. With the power of vision and alignment of the mind and heart, you can start to see the obvious and begin to analyze the ‘how’ behind the ‘why’ and the ‘what.’ 
  • Act towards results. Once there is clarity, the next step is to plan a course of action and act on it to derive expected results.

Recognize how others perceive you.

Another important way to improve self-awareness in the workplace centers around external perceptions of us. To truly develop this attribute, we need to: 

  • Ask for feedback. Feedback is one of the fastest and most effective ways to grow and improve oneself. It provides us with different perspectives on how we should act, react, or behave in a certain situation.
  • Acknowledge inputs. To make a positive impact with the feedback we receive, it’s important to acknowledge the inputs and act on them. This is possible only when we listen, appreciate, seek clarity, and accept.
  • Adapt becoming a better self. Apply our learnings, experiences, and feedback towards becoming a better self.

These simple steps for enhancing self-awareness can be applied in any situation of professional development, whether you’re planning your career, leading a strategic program, or managing a team.

Self-awareness is a continuous journey. It’s an everyday pursuit that allows us to reflect and expand our true self by slowly uncovering all our blind spots.

Aswin Lakshmanan, Director, Strategy & Planning, Verizon India

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