These days, every leader is looking for an edge in the workplace. And while competitor analysis and performance reviews have their place, it’s equally important to look within and examine what’s going on in your own head too.
We’ve all seen how our attitudes and emotional states can impact those around us, for better and worse. When you’re in a bad mood, it’s catching. And at work, this often leads to a decrease in not only morale, but performance too.
Through meta-awareness you can recognise the emotional signals you’re sending at any given moment. When you notice these signals, you can choose to change them if they’re unhelpful. But let them run wild, and they can cause harm to your relationships and have a negative impact on those around you.
In this article we’ll take a closer look at meta-awareness and why it is important in the workplace.
What is meta-awareness?
You’ve likely heard of the many benefits that practising mindfulness can bring to both your personal and professional life. When you are mindful, you are in the moment, seeing and noticing what is happening now. Meta-awareness is an important step on the road to becoming mindful and can be described as the ability to recognise the thoughts, feelings, sensations and impulses that you are experiencing as they are happening.
This awareness gives you control over how you respond to your emotional state. When you’re observing your inner thoughts and feelings you can choose what you’ll do next. Without it, your habitual reactions kick in, and small things can seem big fast. Being aware of your thoughts and feelings as they are happening puts things back in perspective. You can see things for what they are and move on, rather than fuelling your inner-rant which only makes matters worse.
How does it help you at work?
Being able to recognise and control your emotional responses in the workplace allows you to build strong relationships with your team. Through meta-awareness, you’ll pick up early when your emotional state is not where it needs to be and can steer it back on course.
When you stop the unhelpful inner talk, and get back in the moment, you’ll see things more clearly and make better decisions. You’ll be more approachable and genuine, which creates an environment that is positive, and a happier team. This can significantly improve productivity and innovation in the workplace, while also reducing staff turnover.
10 minutes of meditation a day can make a huge difference.
How can you achieve it?
Mindfulness and meta-awareness sound simple enough in theory, but they require regular practice to become instinctual. Meditation is a powerful way to focus the mind and start noticing what’s happening within, and as little as 10 minutes a day can have a huge impact.
When you make the effort to remember to stay in the moment, you can begin to catch yourself when you go into autopilot. Once you start noticing, you’ll be surprised how often it happens! Make it a focus to be aware of what you’re thinking and feeling, and how this affects your body and face. Do you tense up when you’re irritable? Do you frown more often than you realised? Becoming aware of what’s happening allows you to regain control over your reactions. It can be as simple as unclenching your jaw, relaxing your shoulders, taking a deep breath and asking yourself is it really as bad as it seems? This small but significant step helps you avoid fuelling the situation and causing unnecessary harm.
Final Word on Meta-Awareness at Work
Positive relationships in the workplace leads to stronger teams and better results. When you lead from the front and avoid sending out negative emotional signals, you’ll be happier, and your team will be too.
Looking to take the next step in your career? Or need to find the ideal candidate for a key role within your organisation? At Reo, our team of experienced recruitment consultants can help. Contact us for a chat today.
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