Upgrade Your Self-Awareness

Upgrade Your Self-Awareness

We’ve all heard it a million times: self-awareness is important! But how do we know if it’s time for an upgrade on our self-awareness?

We’ve all heard it a million times:  self-awareness is important! But how do we know if it’s time for an upgrade on our self-awareness? In this episode, we cover: A checklist for fine-tuning your self-awareness
  • The limitations that we create if our self-awareness is low
  • How to enhance our self-awareness
  • The danger of conversational blindspots
  •  How our expertise can cloud our awareness

About my guest:

My guest today is Regina Huber.  She is the CEO of TRANSFORM YOUR PERFORMANCE. Her eclectic experience on five continents started in Germany and includes leadership positions at The Boston Consulting Group as well as ownership of businesses in Argentina, Brazil, and the U.S. This experience shaped her into a multicultural Transformational Leadership Coach, International Inspirational Speaker, and Author of Speak up, Stand out and Shine. She also co-authored three other books and has written numerous articles for magazines in the U.S. and Africa, where she has been featured by multiple media outlets. Links:

Links & Resources:

Website: https://transformyourperformance.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@reginahuber LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/reginahuber LinkedIn newsletter: https://www.linkedin.com/newsletters/6920728165837369344 Complimentary session: https://transformyourperformance.com/leaderuplevel Book Speak up, Stand out and Shine: https://www.amazon.com/Speak-Stand-out-Shine-Powerfully-ebook/dp/B01M0N0558

[00:02] Bobbi: Welcome to UnYielded: Thriving No Matter What, where we talk about how to make your next chapter in life your best chapter. I’m your host, Bobbi Kaylor, and I believe that the best is yet to come back, everyone. Today we have a returning guest, Regina Huber. And I’m so excited for you to hear this conversation. When she and I spoke last time, we touched on how important self-awareness is and we wanted to go back and revisit that. Why? Because we’ve probably all heard it a million times. Self awareness is important. We all know that, right? But here’s the thing. How do we know if it’s time for an upgrade on our self awareness? In this episode, we’re going to cover things like a checklist for fine tuning our own self awareness, the limitations that we create if our self-awareness is low, how to enhance our self-awareness no matter where we are in terms of it, no matter how great our self-awareness might be, how can we enhance it? The danger of conversational, blind spots, and finally, how our own expertise can cloud our awareness a little bit. About my guest. Like I say, she’s a returning guest. Her name is Regina Huber. She is the CEO of Transform your performance. Her eclectic experience on five continents started in Germany and includes leadership positions at the Boston Consulting Group, as well as ownership of businesses in Argentina, Brazil and the US. This experience shaped her into a multicultural transformational leadership coach, international inspirational speaker, and the author of Speak Up, Stand Out and Shine. She has also co authored three other books and has written numerous articles for magazines in the US. And Africa, where she has been featured on multiple media outlets. Regina, welcome back to the show.

[02:15] Regina: Bobbi, I am so delighted to be with you here again today and to dive a little bit deeper with some of the topics we touched on last time.

[02:24] Bobbi: Yeah, because there was so much in that interview, and I’m going to put a link in the show notes for people because if they haven’t listened to that interview, they should go back and listen to that one. There was so much good stuff in there and we thought, okay, we can’t cover everything in one sitting. So today we kind of went back and forth and we said, let’s explore self-awareness a little bit more. And I think here’s the thing. We’ve all heard that self-awareness is important. I guess what we want to dive into is how does it really help us with self empowerment? And how can we, no matter how self aware we might be, how can we take it to another level? So just for the listeners, that’s where we’re kind of going with this. So do you want to kick us off with what’s your belief around self-awareness and why it’s so important?

[03:09] Regina: Yes, self awareness, I actually just touched on that during a group session earlier this week as well, in a different context, which was emotional intelligence. Right. So I believe that self-awareness is the precondition for self empowerment and also for self leadership, which is sort of the same, but not quite. Right. And it’s really also the basis for all authentic and sustainable leadership, whether it’s leadership of self or others or both. Because, Bobbi, how can we be authentic as leaders if we don’t even know ourselves? How can we project who we are through our presence in business, in our jobs, in our roles, or in our leadership role, maybe if we don’t even know who we are? Great point. Yeah. And how can we understand others if we don’t even understand ourselves? And I think for leaders, this is absolutely key, but really for everybody who interacts with other people, whether it’s at work or outside of work. Right. Yeah.

[04:20] Bobbi: Oh, my goodness. It’s such a great point. How can we be fully authentic if we’re not aware? And how can we be intentional, for that matter, without the self awareness? So how have you seen people work on their self awareness?

[04:38] Regina: Well, I take my clients usually on a path of self-awareness first, right. Before we even dive into anything else, unless I know them so well already that we’ve worked before that and they’ve already gone through this. Right. But also what I want to say first is sometimes self discovery can be scary because it requires that we become vulnerable, that we are honest with ourselves and that we admit our fears and we allow ourselves to look at our emotions and how we can handle them and what we sometimes call shortcomings. Right. So we will have to admit that there are things about ourselves that are not perfect, and that’s fine. But just admitting it is so hard for people to do, and that’s what they sometimes need guidance with. So taking a look at who we really are and how we may be perceived by others at the same time, that can take courage and honesty. But I also have found that it’s so worth it because self-awareness to me is an empowered state. We could even say it’s empowered vulnerability to some extent. Yeah. It’s a great way of putting it. Yeah. And Bobbi, of course, there are always two sides to everything. I like to say there are two sides to the coin. There is the strength side and the shortcoming side. The self-awareness is of course about both. It’s the good and the ugly to.

[06:10] Bobbi: Say it in some way.

[06:13] Regina: Right. I believe that when we look at self awareness, some important bullet points, you could call it, would be knowing my strengths and shortcomings, being aware of my inner narrative. How do we talk to ourselves? What are our beliefs, our conscious and subconscious beliefs? What are our thought patterns, our biases, our triggers? So important, right. What triggers us? And has a lot to do with emotional intelligence? What provokes me to maybe explode without me wanting to. It’s like those pressure cookers. That’s right. And also, what are my core values, and how are those core values aligned with the work I do with the organization? I work for my own business, my clients, even. In a way, self-awareness is about understanding the impact my behavior has on others as well. Not just knowing myself, but also observing how am I perceived by others, how do they interpret my words. Now, we don’t always interpret words the same way. And it’s also true that we all have conversational blind spots, especially when there’s an emotion involved, like a fear, anger, whatever it is. Right, right. And also, yeah, understanding that my perception of my behavior may be different than other people’s perception of my behavior. Right. It be alienating somebody inadvertently most of the time.

[08:00] Bobbi: Oh, my gosh, there’s so much in there.

[08:02] Regina: And I love that.

[08:04] Bobbi: You kind of provided a great checklist there of here are some of the things. It’s one thing to say, I need to become more self aware, and then the question is, okay, on what? So you gave a great checklist, and I couldn’t write fast enough. But some of the things that really stood out to me were the beliefs, our triggers, our thought patterns, and then the impact that our behavior has on others. When you said that, it took me right back. This was back in 2012, I think, and I was doing a master coaching program for a company, and one of my managers, her name was Carla, she was going through it, and she had, I don’t know, several managers, maybe six or seven managers that reported to her. And she had this one manager who was she was amazing, except she had this ability to rub people the wrong way, and we all knew it wasn’t what she was intending. But not everybody’s going to look past the behavior like Carla and I were willing to. And what Carla did, and I think this was masterful well, we kind of brainstormed it. She said, hey, you know what? For the next two weeks, we’re going to film our team meetings so we can all kind of watch and see how we’re interacting. And as soon as this gal saw herself in action, she’s like, oh, my God. She was horrified. And I thought it was such a brilliant way to raise the awareness, because sometimes it’s hard. So that’s exactly where I went to. When you’re talking, what are some ideas that you would have, or have you helped your clients with that? Because that’s a tough one, the impact our behavior has on others because we’re simply not aware. So what are your thoughts on that?

[09:50] Regina: Well, sometimes we need to fine tune a little bit. We think we know ourselves so well, and then we are not really aware of what other people think about us. Although we would want to make a specific impression. And then it just doesn’t come across that way. So I think, of course, one way is just evaluating what results you get. Are you getting the desired results through your behavior, through your words? Right. And then also, do you ask for feedback enough? And if and when you do, do we actually act on that feedback?

[10:28] Bobbi: Do we defend against it?

[10:29] Regina: Exactly. Don’t do that. Yeah. And then who have you asked for feedback? Have you asked only your manager or only your coworkers? Or have you also asked your team members, your clients? If you lead a team, do you ask them for feedback as well? Because that’s, I think, very valuable feedback, and that’s a way to find out whether they perceive you in the way you expect it to be perceived or you want it to be perceived. And also, if not, then why not? Then we might need to dig a little deeper. Right. What’s missing? What needs an upgrade? What needs fine tuning? How do you communicate, for example, do you come across as authentic? Do people trust you? If not, why not? What’s the language you use? Is it aligned with conversational intelligence principles? For example, what about your body language, your voice? Maybe you’re also too easily triggered and too reactive sometimes, and maybe you would benefit from some emotional intelligence coaching or awareness. Right. So for everybody different and again, it is about you said they were filming themselves. I was actually also going to suggest to record yourself on a call, maybe during a team meeting, if that’s okay with your team in your setting. Right, right. Yeah.

[12:04] Bobbi: And what I loved about the way Carla did it, too, is she didn’t single anybody out. She said, hey, we’re all going to do this. It’s going to be a learning experience for all of know. And I thought that was really good, something you were saying about Know indicators that you might need to put a little more awareness, like, check that out. One thing I’ve thought about too, is when it’s a pattern of results or you’re getting the same undesirable results, undesired results with a variety of people. Because sometimes I’ve had people in corporations, and they’re like, I get along great. They can get along with everyone, except there’s that one person that no matter what they do. And it’s like I always think, look at patterns, patterns of either behavior or results. Can you tell us more about because you’ve said the conversational blind spots and then conversational intelligence. And I know we touched on this a little bit in our last interview. Can you tell us a little bit more about that, though?

[13:03] Regina: Absolutely. Conversational blind spots happen to all of us because we actually do not hear every single nanosecond of what we think we are listening to. Right. So our brains check from time to time. We are processing the message, and that means that we don’t necessarily understand exactly what we are hearing every single time. We think we understand, but we don’t understand everything. And what impacts a lot is fear. For example, like sometimes we only hear the negative parts of what somebody is saying, right? When we fear mode. Interesting, a very blatant example is a review meeting where people go in already with the expectation to, oh, something bad is going to happen sometimes.

[13:53] Bobbi: Right?

[13:54] Regina: And then there are 99 great things that are being said and one bad thing and we remember that one bad.

[14:01] Bobbi: That’s all we can remember.

[14:03] Regina: Right. But there are more subtle situations as well for this, where we just think, oh, we got this. And then we make our judgment. We judge what we have heard, we interpret the message, but it might not be quite what we think we heard. Sometimes it’s a good idea to reframe what we heard in order to confirm that this is really what the person wanted to communicate. Right? That’s one of the things. Or when we’re angry, well, we tend to not listen, but already want to respond right away. Okay. We already have our own narrative going on, our own story in our heads playing. And these are just some examples for conversation blind spots. Now, conversational intelligence is a whole methodology. It was not created by me, but I studied it. And specifically for coaching purposes, we use it to navigate more successfully and more smoothly through team conversations, through negotiations, any type of conversations. Especially also those critical conversations or tough conversations, as we call them. Sometimes we look at phrases or at specific questions. How do we ask questions? It’s also about positioning. Positioning how? Well, the positioning, for example, in a negotiation, if we want to achieve something, but also positioning in just any conversation where we want to get buy in, where we want to achieve greater understanding by our conversation partners.

[15:55] Bobbi: That sounds like it’s a fascinating area to dive into. It really does. When you were talking about the blind spots, at one point you said something like sometimes our brains are processing so we’re not even hearing everything. And then also the thing about the fear and what that made me think of how many times do we then fill in those blanks with our own assumptions? I would think that would happen quite.

[16:20] Regina: A bit and we also might miss out on pieces. Right, exactly. And then yes, the assumption or conclusion is the result, the consequence.

[16:34] Bobbi: You know what’s interesting? I used to work a lot with sales teams and I remember I had I’ve heard it from a number of different clients in a number of different industries where it’s funny, you go on a sales call and it’s just you and it’s the prospect and you think you’re hearing everything. But then, like, I had one company, they started going on. They called it a four legged sales call. So it means. Two people went on every sales call, and they walked out, and they were stunned at how much the other person heard that they didn’t hear. And they’re like, we’re never going back to a solo sales call again. I mean, it worked perfectly for their company because they knew together they were hearing so much more than what they did on their own. And I think it goes to what you’re talking about.

[17:24] Regina: Absolutely. It’s such a smart approach right. And willingness to experiment with this, because sometimes people are just not willing. They think they already know it, and they’ve done this forever, and it’s just how it is. And I have my sales script or this or that. Right. And it’s just not how reality always works.

[17:45] Bobbi: That’s right.

[17:46] Regina: How our communication works.

[17:49] Bobbi: Let me ask you this, because this is tied to awareness and the conversational blind spots, I think. I’m trying to think of how I want to ask you this question. I think what I’ve seen in my work with salespeople and managers and everything, the greater our expertise goes, the higher it goes. Sometimes does it become harder to really listen fully because we’re filling in more of the gaps because we have more expertise. You know what I’m trying to say there.

[18:21] Regina: I know exactly what you’re trying to say. I do believe that is true. So I’m not going to name this profession. What comes to mind is a specific profession to me, frankly, where my experience, my personal experience, has been that a lot of people in that profession can less easily open their minds to new concepts. They are less willing to learn new ways outside of what they have studied.

[19:01] Bobbi: Right.

[19:01] Regina: Their studies. And I’m not going to name what it is because I don’t want to offend anybody. It always depends on the individual, but it is also part of the programming and the conditioning that we experience. So the more we go into a certain direction and the more we are only focused on that, I think our perspective just narrows down a little bit sometimes. Yeah. Point. Right. And we might think that we know it all.

[19:39] Bobbi: That’s a very good possibility because you get to a point where you think, I’ve seen it all, I’ve heard it all, and you can kind of tune out. Not meaning to, oh, God, this is a horrible story about myself, but it was a great learning experience, so I’ll share it, and it was regina, I was 18.

[19:59] Regina: Okay?

[19:59] Bobbi: So it was many years ago, and I was young, and I worked at a small town doctor’s office, and I was the receptionist. And it was like, I don’t know, six or eight weeks into cold and flu season. And I literally cannot tell you how many calls I had heard from patients, because everyone that called, they didn’t just say, hey, I want an appointment. They wanted to tell me all the details, or they’re cold and flu. And I’m like, just tell me I need an appointment. I’ll get you in, I promise. One day, this one woman called, and she had been one of our maternity patients, and her baby was, I don’t know, four or five weeks old. And so she called, and she’s like, oh, my God, Bobbi, my baby girl is sick. And she’s sneezing, and she’s running she was barely running a fever, but to a new mom, first child, five weeks old. And it went through my head, like, oh, my goodness, I know she’s got the cold. And it’s like, no, this is the first time that her baby girl is sick. You need to listen. And that’s when I realized, like, hey, I’m not in this conversation for me. I’m in the conversation for her. And it’s such a horrible thing, like, where my mind? I was only 18, but that experience has stuck with me to this day of I’m not in the conversation for me.

[21:25] Regina: Yeah, it’s a very valuable learning, right, brava. It’s a really good learning. And yeah, I also discovered something just recently, and I had done a lot of self-awareness yeah. Methods and whatnot right on myself with others, other practitioners of holistic modalities, whatnot I also thought that I knew myself pretty well. And then I had for example, this is only an example, right? But I had my quantum human design study done. So this is like a session. It’s a chart, first of all. Right? So I got my chart done. I got, like, a basic overview of it, and I started reading more about human design in general. And then I got more interested in quantum human design just because it’s sort of a more advanced form of it now. And I learned something brand new about myself and about my past decisions and why those decisions hadn’t always gone well. Now, of course, we all make decisions that don’t give us the results we want, right? I mean, nobody knows before what they know after making the decision. However, I did now understand why some decisions were just made in the wrong moment, and that’s why they were not right. And I actually knew the next day they were not right. But I couldn’t go back, or I felt I couldn’t go back because I had grown up with this belief that you have to keep your promise despite this deep self discovery journey that I had gone through already. I learned this about myself. I learned a new strategy to make decisions through this chart. And then I had a deeper session about this, and I read up on it, and eventually I got certified and now offer these sessions also to my clients as well, because they are really useful for some people. And even in a fundamental just one quantum human design session, you will find out some interesting details about yourself that you may not know yet. In my case, it gave me valuable insights into my best strategy for decision making.

[24:03] Bobbi: And sometimes all it takes is that the one new discovery to open up whole new worlds.

[24:09] Regina: Exactly. It could be something different, of course, but this is an right. Of something that I said, wow, I would never have thought of this.

[24:19] Bobbi: That’s a great point, because how do you become aware of something that isn’t even on your radar? You’re not aware of. Right. So this sounds like it was a methodology to help create new levels of awareness.

[24:32] Regina: Right. Because we can achieve a lot through introspection, self reflection, self observation, feedback. As we said before, the self observation would include your example of recording yourself as well. But sometimes we also have blind spots in that regard. Right. I would say working with someone else can help. Sometimes talking to a friend can help. Sometimes we need to go a little bit deeper and work with an expert. I don’t know, whoever people want to work with. Right. A mentor, a coach.

[25:15] Bobbi: Because a good coach is going to be listening and they’re going to hear, and they can ask those questions that will raise your awareness. Tell me a little bit more about.

[25:25] Regina: The quantum human design.

[25:28] Bobbi: Yes.

[25:29] Regina: Thank you. Yes. It is related a bit to astrology because it has to do with.

[25:39] Bobbi: Your.

[25:40] Regina: Birth date and location. So I know this speaks to some people, it may not speak to other people. I found it extremely insightful because it is a very complex result that you get in your chart. There are some great books that people can familiarize themselves with. For example, by Karen Curry Parker. She worked with the founder of the traditional human design for many years, and then she took it to what she calls quantum human design version of it. Right. I just have found it helpful, and a lot of my clients have, too. And when somebody really sees the practical value, then a methodology makes sense to me. Everybody will maybe relate to something a bit different. Some people want to go just really deep with their subconscious mind. They want to dig deeper with those questions that help us get there and uncover our limiting beliefs, our disempowering thoughts. As you know, probably, Bobbi, we think about 70 to 80,000 thoughts a day, and over 90% are usually repetitive and of the same nature as the day before. It’s really important to be aware what thoughts we have all day. Which ones do we cultivate and which ones do we want to turn into more empowering thoughts that serve ourselves, our success, and our lives and the people around us as well.

[27:21] Bobbi: There and again, I’m hearing when you said cultivate, I’m also hearing the intention, like, what do we want? As opposed to just being on autopilot and letting our minds kind of run amok.

[27:35] Regina: Just like when we’re triggered we’re on autopilot. That’s right. A certain thing that happens and boom. And we want to move away from that, be more conscious of ourselves. Not self conscious in a negative sense, but in the sense of self aware, and then turn those thoughts around. And it’s a process. Things that we have been conditioned into over the years are not always lifted in a day. However, if we are disciplined and pay more attention on a daily basis, it’s doable. And gradually our stories will become different ones. I actually just wrote this morning, I wrote an article about changing our story and rehearsing a new script. That’s it in the article, which I will publish on LinkedIn very soon.

[28:30] Bobbi: Oh, I can’t wait to see it. Because the stories we tell ourselves and the stories that we believe, they really do shape our lives.

[28:39] Regina: They do.

[28:41] Bobbi: And that affects our happiness, our success, our well being, the whole bit. Yes, I think we covered what we said we were going to. Anything that you still had that I forgot to ask because I followed a different thought.

[28:57] Regina: Yeah, no, I think it’s really everything that we had in mind, unless you have any other questions. But I want to just pick this up again, a thought that you brought to this conversation. The thought of patterns. Patterns and habits are so important in this conversation as well. So with this discipline, we can replace habits, not just thought habits, but maybe also some other habits that don’t really serve us over time and both in our interaction with self and with others too.

[29:35] Bobbi: Right, that’s a great point. Because even our thinking, our thinking to what you said earlier, it becomes a habit because it’s the same stuff every day.

[29:45] Regina: Every day.

[29:45] Bobbi: Every day.

[29:47] Regina: Yeah, exactly. Absolutely.

[29:49] Bobbi: And that’s what I love about the different modalities of getting out of what you normally do and just seeing things from a different perspective once in a while. So thank you so much for being here. Where can people learn more about you and your work and all that kind of good stuff?

[30:05] Regina: Well, thank you so much for having me again, Bobbi. It’s always so much fun. We make it fun and we make it insightful. Hopefully at the same time, for our audience. Yes, they can find me on my website, transform Your performance. I have a LinkedIn newsletter for which I usually publish every Friday. I have a YouTube channel which is at Regina Huber. And then my book, Speak Up, Stand Out in China is on Amazon for those who want to prepare in specific ways for challenging situations such as speaking or negotiations, and just to feel a little more confident. And I also would love to invite those of our listeners who are truly committed to improving their self leadership and their self awareness. I’m offering you a hundred percent complimentary one on one session. Nice. We’ll support you with one specific thing that you want to work on right now for your self awareness, your self empowerment and your self leadership, or maybe also the leadership of others. So I’d be happy to give you that link, Bobbi, if that’s OK with you.

[31:15] Bobbi: That’s wonderful. Thank you so much. And I’ll put it in the show notes and then people can reach out to you directly.

[31:21] Regina: Wonderful. Thank you for allowing them to have that experience in me as well. I would love to support them. So if you’re truly just click on the link and we’ll meet. Awesome.

[31:32] Bobbi: Well, I hope people take advantage of that because I know it will be insightful and they’ll get some kind of breakthrough. So, Regina, thank you so much. And we’ll have to see what we want to talk about next.

[31:43] Regina: Yes, there’s always more.

[31:45] Bobbi: So much.

[31:47] Regina: Thank you so much for having me. Thank you to everybody listening.

[31:51] Bobbi: I hope you enjoyed that conversation. I’ve been experimenting a bit with having guests back on where we explore one topic versus covering their whole story and their entire area of expertise. My thought is to add these focused interviews as I’m calling them into the mix along with the other ones that I’ve been doing, and I’d love your feedback. If you are enjoying this format, as well as if there are any topics that you’d love to see us take a deep dive on. So that wraps up this episode. If you found this episode helpful, I wonder if you’d do me a favor and leave us a rating and review. The reason that the ratings and reviews are so helpful and that they matter so much is because the more favorable ratings and reviews we get, the more the podcast is shown to others, which helps us to reach more people and to help more people. So I just want to say thank you with your support on that. So I hope you have a great week and keep thriving.

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