In this brief guide, we are going to curate and discuss a list of coaching tools for self-awareness.
Best coaching tools for self-awareness
Below are some of the best coaching tools for self-awareness. You can use these tools when trying to help clients increase their self-awareness:
- Practise Mindfulness
- Effective feedback
- Johari Window
- Wheel of life
Mindfulness can also be a useful tool for self-awareness. To be self-aware, individuals have to set aside time for self-observation. Mindfulness is a state where you can observe your thoughts and emotions without judging them. Mindfulness allows us to change the relationship that we have with our thoughts—we let them pass through our awareness without being drawn into them. It is in this space for our thoughts that we allow ourselves the choice of how to act. Mindfulness can help an individual start to understand their emotions and experiences without feeling overwhelmed. It will help them become more self-aware of their emotions and mood orientations (Silsbee, 2008).
Meditation is a method or technique to focus on a certain thought, object, or bodily activity such as breathing. Meditation has been practised in different religions over thousands of years primarily as a route to enlightenment and self-realization. It is also perceived to relieve stress, anxiety, and depression. Of course, the straitjacketed researchers from the mainstream medical fraternity are yet to fully acknowledge the health benefits of meditation. People meditate for a wide variety of reasons but the most commonly cited reason is one of self-awareness, to seek a deeper meaning to life and find out one’s true purpose and goal. Regular meditation can have long-lasting benefits in soothing nerves, managing anger, and controlling emotions.
Writing in a journal at night every day can be a great way to see the patterns in your own life. It can help in strengthening our ability to self-reflect which in turn can also lead to improved self-regulation. Moreover, it also assists in navigating our social environment. This can improve the individual’s ability to make changes in their thoughts, moods, and perceptions (Fritson and Mandernach, 2009). Guided journaling that focuses on the writer’s experiences can help create learning and significance for the writer. This process has been shown to increase the writer’s self-awareness (Fink, 2003).
Delivering effective feedback is highly underestimated as a skill and when done well can quickly help to create high-performing individuals, teams, coaches, and trainers. It is a skill that helps you to solidify relationships by building trust and respect.
Without appropriate and timely feedback, others are forced to make assumptions about how they are perceived which can quickly culminate in conflict and misunderstanding. The whole purpose of offering feedback is to help people change by reinforcing positive behaviors or improving negative ones.
The Johari Window was designed by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham in 1955. They thought it will help people to understand and know themselves better, desire self-improvement, as well as to understand their relationships with other people. It is basically dividing one square into four parts: top left is labeled as an open area – it is the biggest square and it includes what is known by the person about her/himself and is also known by others.
The top right corner is the “blind area” and it represents what is unknown to the person about him/herself however known to others. The bottom left part is called the “Hidden area” and it refers to what the person knows about him/herself that no one else knows. The last part,i.e., the bottom right area is called the unknown area which shows what is unknown to the person about himself and is also unknown to others.
Wheel of life
The wheel of life is a tool that can be used to evaluate our lives based on our values in our lives. It can give us a bird’s eye view of our life and how satisfied we are in living out our current values. Using a blank wheel, the client can identify 8 areas of their lives that are important to them. This can be a value, or a role that you play (eg. Mother, father, coach, partner), or an area of your life.
For each category, the client will rate each area 1-10 with 10 being complete satisfaction. Examples of categories include health, relationships, social, financial, professional, personal growth, spirituality, and travel.
The gaps of the wheel are we can begin to spend some time. Thinking about each level, the client will reflect on where they believe their ideal would be. A balanced life does not mean reaching a 10 in each area but instead is about taking action to reach “ideal” levels in each area. The client can plot their ideal scores around the wheel as well. Once there is a greater awareness of which areas need tending to, the client can then start smart goals.
The enneagram is a map of nine different personality styles and patterns for behavior that were developed in childhood (Hoffman, 2018). The enneagram doesn’t put people in a box, but instead shows motivations for behavior styles and provides a roadmap out of constraints. It allows for a lot of personal development and growth. The enneagram has nine numbers which represent different characteristics. Within each number, there are healthy, average, and unhealthy characteristics.
This test gives information into an individual’s motivations for their behaviors and it stays relatively stable throughout life. Personality can be acted out based on environment and other conditions, but if we understand motivations then we gain greater awareness as to who we are at our core. The enneagram can help to uncover who we are and patterns that are associated with who we are. This may also help bring unconscious beliefs into consciousness so we have the choice to act in ways that promote our growth.
What are the benefits of self-awareness?
In an ideal world, everyone would experience the benefits of heightened self-awareness. These benefits make both professional and personal life better. When you take the time to develop self-awareness, you can expect the following benefits:
- Better decision-making and priority setting, based on better self-understanding
- The joy of taking an active role in life rather than just reacting to things that happen
- Less tendency to take things too personally – a major time and energy waster!
- Ability to see missteps and mistakes as opportunities for positive change
- Understanding of why you do what you do
- Stronger personal and professional relationships
- A better foundation on which to set goals and build dreams
- Better ability to forgive and let go of past wrongdoings
- Healthier personal boundaries
- Stronger ability to live in the present moment rather than dwelling on the past or future
Whether or not you pursue top leadership positions, self-awareness serves you well. And if you do achieve positions of leadership, it will help you lead more effectively. In fact, self-awareness is so essential to strong leadership that executive coaches regularly work with clients on improving their self-awareness.
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FAQs: Coaching tools for self-awareness
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about coaching tools for self-awareness:
What are the tools of self-awareness?
Below are five coaching tools that I have found to work best:
- Effective Feedback
- The Johari Window
How do you coach self-awareness?
You can practice mindfulness, meditation, start writing in a journal and start with effective feedback.
What are some coaching tools?
Some of the coaching tools for self-awareness are as follows:
- The Johari Window
- Wheel of life
What is the principle tool for developing self-awareness?
One of the most important principle tool for developing self-awareness is open communication, both with your own self and with others around you. Apart from that, the higher the ability to self-monitor, self- regulation, and self-worth, the higher will be the chances of self-awareness.
What are the three kinds of self-awareness?
The three types of self-awareness are indexical, detached, and social self-awareness.
- Indexical self-awareness is based on perceptual information that the subject has about herself. The indexicality in question refers to the fact that the subject is aware of herself and her states as given in the actual context.
- A subject with a detached self-awareness does not have to rely on contextual information in representing herself. Her/his self representations are cut loose, or detached, from the actual context. S/he can think of herself generally, as somebody who can instantiate different properties in different domains, where the properties and the domains are independent of each other.
- Social self-awareness is based on a capacity to understand one’s relations to other people as of an emotional, social, and normative kind. A subject capable of social self awareness can focus on her emotions and recognise those of others; she can interact with other people in a way that takes psychological states into account and relies on recognising their beliefs, desires and various other intentional attitudes; and she can furthermore grasp the nature of normative and ethical relations between subjects. Finally, she can relate all these kinds of information to appropriate or inappropriate courses of action and evaluate alternatives.
What is an example of self-awareness?
Self-awareness looks inward, but it does so as a way of learning to relate to the world better. Self-absorption looks inward only to ensure that one’s own needs are met with little to no regard to the needs of others.
Self-awareness recognizes traits that hold us back and looks for ways to compensate or work around them. Highly self-aware people have a habit of regularly reflecting on and considering their values. While they’re always trying to be aware of what they might be unconsciously avoiding, they are also striving to be clear about what they really want in their lives.
How do I know if I lack self awareness?
A few of the signs that might indicate that a person lack self awareness are as follows:
- You micromanage everything
- You get defensive
- You tend to blame others for most of the things
- You say things “you don’t mean”
- You can’t laugh at yourself
- You think you’re a good listener
In this brief guide, we curated and discussed a list of coaching tools for self-awareness.
If you have any questions or comments please let us know.
Brinck, I. (2001). An outline of a theory of person-consciousness: Three kinds of self-awareness (2001-09-05). Lund Philosophy Preprints.
N. Kett (2020). Tools for creating self-awareness