Man looking at reflection in window

Several weeks ago I posted an article that got a ton of attention. The title was . Since posting it has nearly 90,000 views. It must have struck a cord as I also had over 1,000 shares and over 200 comments in which many people said they both saw these traits in their Managers and some even admitted they displayed the signs themselves. I had a lot of questions about how to avoid these, and the best answer I came up with, and one I still believe is the best solution, is self-awareness.

What is self-awareness? It’s the conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires. So we don’t just act and ignore the impact our actions have on others. If we see positive or negative effects, we think about why and how to adapt our behavior.

So, in this two-part article, I take a look at behaviors we need to be aware of in ourselves and in our leaders and then in the second part, what are some of the things we and our leaders can do to be “self-aware” and correct. Let’s first look at behaviors we need to be aware of.

Being a bully. 

Such behavior is normally a sign of feeling threatened or scared. Bullies go on the offensive to protect something deep within them, something they don’t want people to see.  

Being defensive. 

When leaders “outside” help who wants to meet with their staff and when genuine and objective feedback makes them agitated or even angry. 


When people micromanage, pick on the little things, it usually means they are not dealing with a bigger thing that’s really bugging them. It means they are not paying attention to something really important.

Passive aggressive. 

When leaders say, “Sure, no problem,” then turn around and do the exact opposite, it means they don’t want to confront others or be confronted by them. 

Being bombastic. 

When leaders are over the top and demonstrate how confident they are in their ideas, plans, business, and when their strategies defy objective reasoning or goals don’t pass the smell test, that’s a sign they are overcompensating to appear like they have everything under control.

Making frequent excuses. 

Excuses are ways of avoiding or deflecting negative attention. Pointing fingers and blaming others are common avoidance techniques that communicate resistance to being held accountable. 

These are all signs that more self-awareness is required or we all suffer the consequences.

My second article, coming soon, will deal with ways we and others can force ourselves to be more self-aware. As Einstein is quoted as saying: “If I had one hour to save the world, I would spend 55 minutes defining the problem and only 5 minutes finding the solution.” We need to spend time defining the problem and only then can we take steps to solve it.


Peter M. Beaumont is the Founder and Principal of ConnXN Consulting. He is also the author of The Relationship Roadmap, a comprehensive guide to building relationships with strategic clients. Find out more at

About the Author:

I am the customer relationship mentor, who helps those responsible for their company’s most important customers, to build and maintain their customer relationships and keep them happy, so that they can protect & grow their business.