Build self-awareness at work

content mountain path

It is impossible to grow and evolve as a manager without self-awareness, because in order to be able to use your strengths to your advantage and work on improving your weaknesses, you need to be aware of what they are.

Self-awareness in leadership is an important factor towards enabling managers to make a connection with teams.

You can build trust in the office by starting to recognise your own strengths and weaknesses. By doing so, you can better recognise others’ weaknesses and give them the appreciation and tools that they need.

Luci Parkins, Recruitment Consultant – Public Practice Audit and Accountancy, Morgan McKinley, says: ‘Self-awareness in the workplace helps you to understand your strengths and weaknesses, it can show you how you can develop your career and improve how you work as a whole.

‘A good way to do this is through personality tests, these help you understand how you work as a person and what plans you can put in place to improve your methods of work.

‘Working closely with your managers and senior staff can also be vital, showing areas of improvement. It can also be helpful to reflect on your day, what has worked and what hasn’t. How can you learn from the day and what you can continue to take forward.”


One aspect to focus on is emotional intelligence, which can be defined as the ability to identify and influence others’ emotions and decisions.

It is essential to be able to identify and control your own emotions before you can relate to others, and that starts by learning about self-awareness and its connection to effective leadership.

Examining your emotions is an aspect of internal awareness and so requires focus. Leaders also need social competence, which includes an awareness and reading of a variety of situations.

Search hundreds of roles from all over the world on ACCA Careers

Sign up for a job alert tailored to your desired location and role


One tip to consider is considering recent interactions you have had where you felt uncomfortable or may have made someone else feel that way. What signs did you see that you weren’t connecting in the right way and how can you make improvements in the future?

You can measure your current level of self-awareness by comparing your own evaluation of yourself and your performance with feedback from others.

Ask your manager and colleagues for an honest assessment of key attributes and look to compare this feedback with how you thought you were being perceived.

Another key area to explore is self-discipline, which is the trait that allows you to catch yourself before you do something that isn’t in line with your company’s leadership values.

Mindfulness exercises can help you build self-discipline, so taking time out to reflect can certainly help you improve and eliminate any unhelpful characteristics.

Author: Alex Miller, writer

More information

This article was first published in Student Accountant in October 2022Get the SA app now

Back to listing