How Aware Are You?

Awareness: knowledge or perception of a situation or fact.

You may not think of awareness as a work skill. It is an important one. When you are aware of your self and your surroundings you can respond to people and situations in ways that align with your values and needs and promote common goals. When you are unaware, your values, needs and goals can go unheeded because you are in the dark.

One way I became more aware was when I met my husband Ermanno. I was a New York City girl and although I always valued the natural world, I often did not slow down within it. My husband was much more attuned to and aware of nature. We would be driving in the country and he would say “there’s a hawk” or “look at the light”. I gradually became much more aware of my surroundings in the natural world, instead of quickly passing through and taking only parts of it in.

In your career and your life, it is a big plus to cultivate your awareness of people, interpersonal and organizational dynamics, key elements of your particular professional field, levels of communication and things that lie below the surface of your work environment. Cultivating your awareness moves you closer to excellence and , ultimately, success.


photo: scott carroll,

Waking Up

Sometimes things are hiding in plain sight; however, you fail to see them. There can be many reasons: an expectation or strong emotion like anger clouds your view, what is there creates fear for you, you have not experienced anything like it before and therefore fail to recognize it, you are not fully present to what is going on, you are avoiding seeing it or a need to please prevents you from acknowledging what is there.

Being asleep to something is human. It’s not hard to find yourself there. Key is to will yourself “awake” to what is happening around you in your workplace. The benefits are obvious. By seeing the truth of a situation you can assess it appropriately and decide how to respond in a manner that is best for you and your career.


photo: Sabine van Erp,

Are You Plugged In?

To lead effectively, it is essential to be aware of what is around you. Doing so, allows you to gauge what are the best decisions and actions to make in a given situation. Operating in a vacuum brings you alone to the table. Plugging in to personalities, cultural values, sensitivities, agendas, relevant facts and desired outcomes allows you to make decisions and take actions that move a situation forward.

How plugged in are you as you work and manage each day?


photo: hrohmann,

What’s Repeating?

Observing what is occurring in your life can yield results. Put yourself in a place of witness. Is there anything that has been repeating in your life that you would like to be gone? Perhaps you keep encountering a certain type of difficult personality, you keep getting assigned projects that do not reflect your strengths, you find yourself disappointed or discouraged often or you cannot get where you want to go, no matter what you do.

When things are repeating in your life, something may be asking for your attention. Ask yourself why these repeats are happening, what you are doing to contribute to them and what can you do to change the situation. Often, by addressing repeats, they will soon be gone. It is when they are not noticed, or they are ignored, that they stay around.

photo: DolfiAm,

Your Evolution

awarepetelinforthpixabayDo you focus on your evolution? The world around you is constantly evolving. If you do not evolve, you will soon be out of touch. You can evolve in many different ways involving your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self. In order to evolve, you must stay aware of what is happening around you.

It is your choice how you evolve. There is no prescribed way. Change gives you options to choose what is best for you. For example, if your organization is changing its culture, you can decide whether or not the new culture is a fit for you. Or, if you find yourself physically run down or stressed due to changes that have occurred, you can let them get the better of you or get yourself back into shape.

The key to evolving is awareness. Stay aware of what is happening around you and how you want to respond to it.

photo: PeteLinforth,


driftbluesnappixabayDrifting does not have much aim. Sometimes, you can drift without realizing that you are doing so. The danger is that you may drift into something dangerous and end up surprised and unprepared.

How does this happen? It happens when you are not fully in the present moment, lose focus, are overwhelmed or “check out” because you do not want to face something. So, you go along unconsciously and lose touch with what is happening around you.

Try not to drift in this way. It does you no good and rather than relaxing you, leaves you unaware and vulnerable. Have you drifted lately? Is it time to take aim again?


photo: Bluesnap,

Do You Have Allies?

alliesskeezepixabayIt certainly is helpful to have allies in your work. You may have found some. You may also have learned some difficult lessons about perceived allies’ authenticity, hidden agendas and loyalty. What criteria do you use in considering whether someone is an ally at work? Your criteria should be well thought out and protective of your interests. If you consider someone an ally and they are not, they can do some real damage.

Your allies should be proven before you consider them so. Some people may be allies only in certain situations, usually because your self-interests align. Some people may be collaborators, yet not true allies.

Trust and loyalty are key ingredients in an alliance and must be maintained. Too much is at stake. Some say that trust and loyalty are not values that are honored in the workplace. They can be. Honoring these values and having true allies needs your constant assessment, as well as your emotional intelligence. When you do find true allies, you are a lucky one!

We are looking for two people to complete a career circle starting in August. Join us to take charge of your career and make a change you’ve dreamed of making! More info here.


photo: skeeze,


ID-100128824Self-Preservation: preservation of oneself from destruction or harm; a natural or instinctive tendency to act so as to preserve one’s own existence

Self-preservation may be instinctive; however it is worth your while to focus consciously on it in your workplace. Why? Because survival is not a given in any workplace. Numerous factors can threaten your success and well being if you are not aware of the environment you are working in. Self-preservation does not require paranoia, manipulation or obsession. Self-preservation requires intelligence, watchfulness and protection of your interests.

Here are some ways to focus on self-preservation in a constructive manner:

• Be keenly aware of (stay awake) when people either harm you or your interests at work. Maya Angelou once said: “When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.” It’s natural for some to have a tendency to let slights pass by or to dismiss them. You do not have to react to them, but you want to allow the facts to form your opinion of someone, rather than your wishes for how you’d like them to be.

• Identify what interests you want to protect. Do they relate to being given what you need to perform well, being treated in a certain manner, (for example, respected, valued, consulted, acknowledged), milestones you want to achieve in your career or what type of environment you can thrive in?

• Develop your emotional intelligence. This will help you to “see” what may be underneath people’s actions and also to mange your own emotions effectively.

As you put self-preservation on your radar, you will find that you are better able to act in your own interests when you need to.

photo: cbenjasuwan,

Maintaining Your Awareness

Sometimes managers fall asleep in their everyday work life. They may get so focused on the details of their day they do not notice what is happening around them. They may also check out – because there is something they do not want to face or is too hard to face or they think they cannot change their circumstances and they surrender. In doing so, they fall asleep and do not see.

Do you maintain your awareness at work?

Maintaining your awareness has a lot to do with the present moment. Things are going on around you every minute and if you are not present, you miss them. Missing a few things is inevitable, but if you miss a lot, it matters. Why? Because to live without awareness, is to miss your life. At work, your day is filled with things to pay attention to: communications with others, subtle emotions or actions, signs that something that matters is going awry or your own internal signs of stress or emotion. When you miss these things, they only get bigger and, in the process, you lose some of your effectiveness as a manager.

Maintaining your awareness is about paying attention. If you want to assess and maintain your awareness in your work, try this: over the next week, at the end of each day, note five things you were aware of and paid attention to that day. Note too, when you check out at work and start to fall asleep. Why did you check out? As you strengthen and maintain your awareness, your effectiveness will increase and you will experience the benefits of living in the present moment.