Tips for Leaders – Self-Awareness as a Leadership Tool for Designers

leadership tool for designersIn a previous post, we shared some ideas on Crafting Your Website About Page. We explained how you should be as transparent as possible about who you are, as a way to build trust with visitors and prospective clients. While this is a good idea and offers valuable tips for leaders and designers who wish to be, it takes for granted that you have a solid sense of who you are and what you wish to accomplish for your clients as an interior designer.Turns out, that’s a pretty big leap for some these days. (Get ready; it gets a little deep from here.)Self-awareness is a quality that will bring out the best in you, and those you work with. It can enhance your reasoning and your thinking, as well as improving your interpersonal skills for better relationship outcomes. In fact, the one competency that great leaders have in common is… self-awareness.Self-awareness is the capacity for introspection and the ability to recognize oneself as an individual, separate from the environment and other individuals. When you are self-aware, you consciously know and understand your own character, feelings, motives, and desires. Introspection, on the other hand, is the examination of your conscious thoughts and feelings, and is closely related to human self-reflection and is contrasted with external observation.Becoming More Self-Aware Will Lead to Greater SuccessHaving said all of that, individuals who lack self-awareness have trouble sharing freely of themselves and tend to discount the feelings and concerns of others. They easily become defensive and manipulative, are passive-aggressive and controlling, regularly make excuses, and may even bully those around them.Such people also tend to have problems with self-esteem, or self-regard. Individuals with high self-regard respect themselves and accept both personal strengths and limitations while remaining satisfied and self-secure. When you know yourself well and are comfortable with yourself, you will: 

  • Have a high level of respect for yourself, your talents, and your weaknesses.


  • Have a willingness to confidently admit mistakes or unfamiliarity with a situation.
  • Experience increased performance and a greater level of happiness – in both, your professional and personal lives.

  If you struggle with any of these aspects of self-awareness, you will find sharing yourself on your website, and in person, very difficult. Needless to say, this will interfere with the transparency needed to make yourself appealing to prospective design clients, online and face-to-face.By improving self-awareness, you will increase your own value and respect for your Self. This will mean that, on an emotional level, you will be more driven to achieve your fullest potential, have a more positive outlook on your capabilities, and will be more confident in expressing yourself than those with average self-regard.Finally, your willingness and ability to understand and accept your strengths and weaknesses will often be perceived by others as confidence. People will likely gravitate toward you, look to you for advice, and seek your leadership. Because your strengths are confidently demonstrated, you may be given opportunities that maximize your talents but, it is also important to seek out opportunities that stretch your less developed skills as well.To avoid potential negative consequences, and develop a greater degree of self-awareness: 

  • Always look at yourself objectively


  • Keep a journal in which you write down your goals, plans, and priorities
  • Perform daily self-reflection
  • Practice meditation and other mindfulness habits
  • Take personality and psychometric tests
  • Ask trusted friends to describe you
  • Ask for feedback from people you respect

  Seeking others’ feedback on your strengths and weaknesses demonstrates a willingness to learn and gives you objective data to confirm whether your sense of self-awareness is in line with what others see. Although challenging, openly admitting your weaknesses can also help to keep your self-regard in check with how your family, friends, and colleagues see you, ensuring your ego is not in control.Looking for more ideas about interior design marketing and tips for leaders? Get in touch with TD Fall today.