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Building your self-awareness muscle

Our ability to perform well at work, especially in times of stress, change and uncertainty comes down to how well we optimise our personal energy. Based on Korn Ferry’s Personal Energy Framework, this week I deep dive into the first pillar, awareness.

Awareness is the foundation for managing our personal energy. Being aware of our moment-to-moment experiences, allows us to be mindful and remain present in stressful situations. When we’re overwhelmed on the other hand, our brains move into auto pilot and we may react instead of responding.

Awareness as defined by Korn Ferry’s research as:

“The heightened ability to objectively observe oneself and one’s surroundings, simply becoming conscious of one’s thoughts, feelings, and environment”.

How can you harness your personal energy to through awareness?


A practice of mindfulness - a mental state achieved by focusing on the open attention to the present moment - can cultivate awareness and reduce our assumptions and habits (auto pilot).


A practice of reflection and developing self-knowledge. Awareness is more than being present. It is also developing a deeper sense of self, of our values, beliefs and assumptions. Through a practice of reflection, you can take stock of your behaviours, thoughts and emotions and understand how they impact you.

Where to start?

If you’re unsure where to start there are some great meditation and mindfulness app like Calm, Headspace and The Smiling Mind (this one is free).

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