Self-awareness is a surprisingly critical skill in the workplace. Without it, defense professionals often have trouble navigating the environment effectively. In a worst-case scenario, individuals who lack self-awareness are incredibly disruptive and extremely damaging to morale.
Many defense professionals assume that they’re highly self-aware. However, it’s easy to miss details about how you come across. Plus, even if you’re incredibly self-aware, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll encounter individuals who lack self-awareness throughout your career.
As a result, it’s critical to know how to spot a self-awareness gap, both in yourself and others. If you’re a defense professional who wants to be the best possible coworker, here are the four red flags that need to be on your radar.
Recognizing Narcissism in the Workplace
One warning sign of a self-awareness gap in the workplace is conversational narcissism. Usually, the clearest indicator of this is that every discussion involving a person always ends up steered toward them. Essentially, they speak in a self-centered way and may go the extra mile to take a conversation that isn’t about them and make it one that is focused on them.
In many cases, conversational narcissists are also challenging to escape once a discussion begins. They may speak so incessantly that it’s hard for others to find an appropriate point to make an exit, leaving them functionally trapped.
It’s wise for defense professionals to gauge whether they are conversational narcissists. Simply noticing how much of your day is spent talking about yourself could be enough. Another technique is to assess whether you’re monopolizing the majority of your conversations. If you’re concerned you fall in this category, the easiest solution is to let others take the floor. Practicing active listening, asking the other participants questions, and similar strategies can help you break the pattern, so consider starting there.
If you’re dealing with a conversational narcissist, don’t be afraid to interject if you need to focus on work-related activities. Letting them know that you’d usually enjoy talking but have tasks you need to complete could disrupt their pattern, allowing you to refocus.
Boastfulness and Its Impact on Team Dynamics
While being proud of one’s accomplishments isn’t problematic, constantly bringing up why you’re amazing is an issue in the workplace. Boastfulness and arrogance typically rub people the wrong way, and that can harm the overall team dynamic.
Generally, the best way to combat this issue is moderation. Defense professionals can certainly mention a new professional achievement, like completing a project, but it’s best to avoid bragging about anything non-work related. Additionally, make sure you recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of others, as shining a light on colleagues who deserve it is an excellent morale booster.
Dealing with Those Who Take Themselves Too Seriously
Some people who lack self-awareness functionally take themselves too seriously. Additionally, if they do exhibit any humor, it’s more commonly of the self-deprecating variety, as the goal isn’t to humble themselves but to secure compliments from others.
If you potentially fall into this category, lightening your mood is a must. Welcome feedback of all varieties, and have a genuine sense of humor about your missteps. In the end, that humanizes you and makes you a better colleague.
If you work with someone else who takes themselves too seriously, don’t counter self-deprecating humor with anything more than a smile and never with a compliment. By letting the moment fall flat, the person may stop using that strategy on you, making your environment more pleasant.
The Absence of Curiosity
When people aren’t self-aware, they may seem to lack curiosity. Essentially, they won’t ask people about their lives, perspectives, interests, or anything else, as their focus is centered on themselves.
For defense professionals potentially in this category, start seizing opportunities to learn about your colleagues or give them the floor during discussions. If you work with someone who seems to lack this type of curiosity, understand it likely means they have a self-awareness gap and keep that in mind during future interactions.
If you’re looking for a new career-boosting defense job, the Staffing Resource Group can help. Apply Today and SuRGe your career forward.