Self awareness represents an understanding of our personality or the self. It includes the understanding and discovery of one’s strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes. Others include understanding our attitudes, values and beliefs. Self-awareness denotes our consciousness and recognition of our self history (Smith, 2008). This means that we understand that we are the same person over time and that we can identify thoughts and actions that we ourselves do. Self awareness is directly related to our ability to communicate. Self awareness is actually developed during our communication with ourselves and others.
It is during communication that we learn about what others think about us and what reactions and significance we are likely to cause during communication. The Barnlund’s model illustrates two types of communication: the intrapersonal and the interpersonal communication (Smith, 2005). Intrapersonal communication which is communication with one’s self helps to bring out our innermost qualities through our perceptions, evaluations, inferences, ideas, evaluations and memories. Interpersonal communication which refers to communication with others helps us to understand other people and at the same time discover our strengths and weaknesses.
It is only through self-awareness that we can be able to communicate effectively. Self awareness is what enables us to be more strategic in our communication practices. According to Smith (2005), it is only when we understand ourselves that we can be able to gauge and control how we communicate. Understanding others is also essential in our communication and this can only be achieved if we understand ourselves first. For example, a person who does not have self awareness is likely to face challenges when communicating with other people because he is likely to misinterpret other people’s responses to his or her messages.
If we do not interact with others and learn our strengths and weaknesses and the contradictions that exist between individuals we may not be able to change our communication behaviors to better express ourselves (Smith, 2005). I have come to realize that my personality may not always allow me to get along with everyone. I am ESFJ according to the MBIT personality tool. I am slightly expressed extravert, slightly expressed sensing, moderately expressed feeling and slightly expressed judging. Since I have more of an average personality, I would have difficulties dealing with aggressive personalities such as the ENTJs.
ENTJs will tend to have difficulty seeing things from other people’s perspectives and more likely than not they get impatient whenever others do not see things their way. Better communication with such kind of people would call for proper understanding of their personality and then trying to solve any kind of misunderstanding by expressing my point of view to them. I am slightly expressed extravert which means that I draw energy from action. I prefer processing information through conversing and idleness or inactivity tends to lower my motivation.
I am likely to work with introverts who may not be as energetic and who prefer to reflect before acting. I may find that I cannot easily communicate or brainstorm with these kind of people in order to come up with ideas. To deal with this, I would have to be more patient with these people’s personalities. It may mean giving my point of view and then giving them time to act on the idea before making a plausible solution. I tend to make decisions by empathizing with a situation, considering the people involved in the situation and taking a solution that brings greatest consensus.
My feelings and personal values must be involved in making important decisions. At my work place, I may meet people who are Thinking (T) instead of feeling (F) as I am. These ones tend to make decisions based on what is reasonable and logical depending on the analysis of the situation. To better interact with these kinds of people, understanding of their personality is essential and sharing my ideas with them will make them understand me better. That way, we can effectively communicate and respect each others’ way of decision making.
667 Reference Smith, T. R. (2005). MBIT: On the Path to Self Awareness. London: SAGE
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