Last week I blogged about self-awareness, and shared one example (glancing at the clock while talking to someone) of how your inadvertent actions can send a wrong message. I had promised to give you one more and here it is – slouching. Slouching is a sign of disrespect. It doesn’t matter if your intentions are the polar opposite; the message it communicates (right or wrong) is that you’re bored and have no desire to be there. When you slouch, your body tells the world that you’re apathetic and couldn’t care less. And if that’s not what you really meant, your lack of self-awareness has just jeopardized your working relationship with your employee, your co-worker, or even worse, your boss.
Again, just as it was for the example I shared last week, it’s not something most of us do intentionally. Sometimes it just comfortable to slouch, particularly if you overdid it at the gym earlier that morning, or partied hearty the previous night. But your lack of self-awareness of how this behaviour might be perceived by others will put your credibility at risk with others. Successful leaders strengthen their emotional intelligence by being self-aware of how what they do and say affects others, so don’t be oblivious as to how your actions and behaviours might be perceived by those around you.
This was the second example I promised you, but I know that there are many more. What do you have to add to the list? What actions or behaviours have you observed that demonstrate poor emotional intelligence and lack of self-awareness, and only serve to destroy the credibility of the person? Please share by adding your comment below.