When you’re “situationally aware,” you keenly observe your surroundings and pick up on both verbal and nonverbal cues from others. You trust your gut instincts about what’s happening around you and integrate that knowledge to help you choose how to act.

Sometimes circumstances change so fast that you need to adapt quickly. For example, if you’re discussing a project with a colleague when all of a sudden, their disposition shifts as they become distracted by an email or text. At that moment, you have options. You can ignore your feelings and continue or pause and ask them if they need a minute before proceeding.

Cultivate practices to ground yourself and boost your self-awareness.

Through practicing amplified alertness, you’ll be better prepared for the unknown versus being rattled by unexpected changes or behaviors. Noticing the overall vibe and listening to what others are commenting about, can help you determine how best to proceed regarding how you want to show up, position yourself, and interact to foster strong relationships.

To guide you, here are five ways to redirect your energy to concentrate on what’s around you.

Consider what you already know.

Whether consciously or not, you probably have detected some nuances about certain individuals and groups and how things tend to operate. Think about the current atmosphere and how you felt the last time you were in a similar situation and use that insight. For example, do people seem stressed and under pressure, or is the atmosphere more upbeat and relaxed? Keep in mind there are always exceptions. The patterns you’re picking up on are probabilities for you to contemplate, especially when stakes are high and dynamics continue to evolve and change.

Reassess and tune in.

Take notice as you enter a meeting and greet people, whether in person or virtually. Evaluate how your mood aligns with theirs and decide if your approach is still appropriate based on your intention for the interaction. Remember that they may also judge you. Your body language, stance, facial expressions, gestures, eye contact, and tone of voice make a difference in how they perceive you based on their worldviews.

Be objective and understanding.

In the Multi-Health Systems’ Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i), Emotional Self-Awareness includes distinguishing between one’s own thoughts, emotions, and actions and their impact on others. Focusing your attention on your feelings, asking questions, actively listening, and not assuming you know all the answers is key. Additionally, you can tap into your four mental functionsSensing, Intuition, Thinking, and Feeling—as described by Carl Jung to identify the realities and possibilities of the situation and incorporate both objectivity and subjectivity to make better decisions.

Share your perspective.

It’s okay to admit when something feels off or uncomfortable for you. To collaborate more successfully, disclose any sentiments that are important to you in this relationship. Being open builds trust. Admitting what you need or want when working together is crucial for a successful partnership, especially if you have a personal bias toward doing something a particular way. Then invite the other person or people to share their views and preferences and find a workable compromise.

Check-in on a regular basis.

When you recognize and accept that you may not be able to change the environment or another person, you can at least choose how you will show up and act. When you embark on a new partnership, leave room to check in regularly to determine what’s working well and what can be changed for the better.

Find balance one step at a time through experimentation.

Self-regulation isn’t always about being calm and knowing how to react in a given situation. Many times it’s about accepting what-is and bouncing back fast when things don’t go your way. With focus and intention, you can use what you learn to make small adjustments in your behavior to increase your resilience and improve your well-being.

A mindset and approach.

Self-leadership is about getting to know yourself better and applying that knowledge to how you connect with others. As a lifelong student, certified professional coach, and consultant, activating the best in others through self-leadership, interpersonal relations, and team dynamics are passions of mine. My approach is personalized and customized, tapping into various assessments, disciplines, modalities, and techniques. To learn more, schedule a call with me.

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