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Self-awareness is important

The more we are aware of our habits and our basis "paradigms, maps and assumptions and the more we are aware of the extent to which these habits have been influenced by our experience,the more we take responsibility for them.
We can examine them, test them against reality, listen to others and be open to their perceptions, and thereby gain a far more objective view of ourselves and our approach to others.
Factors such as our own values, beliefs, needs and attitudes can affect the way we read behaviour and construct courses of action.
To be a skilled reader of the behaviour of others we need to be aware of "who we are"(what we value and believe) and how this influences the way we look at the world around us, including the people whom we encounter.
We also need to be aware of how other people perceive us, and how this influences how they behave to us.
We need to be aware that we adopt a blinkered approach to perceiving others and that the questions we ask ourselves about them are influenced by factors such as our values, beliefs, needs, attitudes and mood states.
One way of improving our self-awareness is to monitor how we behave in the here-and-now. Imagine yourself floating somewhere in a corner of the room looking down on the interaction as it unfolds.
Observe how you are behaving and think about the reasons behind your actions.

How do you attempt to help?
Do you listen until you are confident that both of you and the other person have a clear understanding of the problem, or do you quickly move on to tell the other person what he should do to manage his problem more effectively?
What makes you behave in this way?
Once you are aware of what you are doing,give some thought to why you are doing it.
For example, if you have observed that you adopt a prescriptive approach to helping, consider why you adopt this approach.
Is it because you believe that you know best, and therefore you have a duty to solve the others person 's problem for him?
Give some thought to outcomes.
If you suspect that this believe is what is motivating your behaviour, consider how it may affect the outcome of the interaction.
Consider also, how this believe may influence your behaviour and other people's response in different situations such as team meetings or when discussing domestic affairs with your partner or flat mate.

Source: John Hayes, Interpersonal skills at work.

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