Leaders: You Need Contextual Awareness To Succeed (Here's How To Get It)

Did you ever have that friend who just didn't have any awareness. They were completely oblivious of some of things happening around them. The worst thing, would they would start talking without ANY context.

StoryTime - I changed companies and was shocked 😱

💥 Have you ever felt like you were scoring all goals in your previous job, but now you're suddenly playing in a different league and can't seem to get your game on?

🤔 That's exactly what happened to me when I moved to a new company and had my first team meeting.

I thought I was ready to lead, but I quickly realized that my team was made up of seasoned players with a wealth of expertise. My usual coaching approach wasn't cutting it and I was met with blank stares. 🤯 That's when I learned the power of contextual awareness.

💡 Contextual awareness is the ability to understand and gather information about your environment and adjust accordingly.

It's like a coach who scouts the other team and adapts their game plan to win. 🏆 Neglecting to properly read the context can lead to suboptimal decisions, just like losing the game.

The Pandemic - Relatable Example

🦠 Take the pandemic for example, it has changed the context of how leaders engage with employees. At my current role, we introduce tools like Loom and Range to have async updates.

Today's leaders must consider the well-being of their team, including mental health and work-life balance. That can include sending a Slack message, some a video or audio message.

Misreading this shift can result in employee disengagement and loss of key players. 💔

Why do leaders fail to read context?

Often, they get caught in the trap of thinking what worked in the past will work now, but the context has changed. Leaders must pay attention to situational realities and avoid making decisions based on filtered information.

🚀 So, if you're ready to up your leadership game, here's my three-step process for developing contextual awareness skills:

  1. 🧠 Build self-awareness - understand your biases and decision-making habits. Get feedback from your team and manager to see what they think.
  2. 💡 Develop a learner mindset - acknowledge that you're no longer an expert in every field and be open to learning from others. Upgrade your skills regularly to make better-informed decisions.
  3. 📈 Develop a data-oriented mindset - use data to make informed decisions. Data provides context and insights to help you make smart moves.

🏆 Contextual awareness is a fundamental leadership attribute in today's fast-changing business environment.

It's a skill that can be mastered through deliberate practice, making you a self-aware, curious, and data-driven leader that inspires others. 💪

Lastly, the more experience you acquire, the better you will become at gaining contextual awareness. 😄

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