Professional self-awareness, how to develop it?

Professional self-awareness, how to develop it?

Professional self-awareness offers great benefits in the workplace. Here's how to upgrade it!

Professional self-awareness, how to develop it?

Last update: October 08, 2020

There are several ways to boost our professional and personal growth. One of them is increase professional self-awareness. Can mindfulness-based practices help us achieve greater well-being in different areas of life? How to stimulate this condition?

Before delving into this topic, let's keep in mind that intentionality is one of the resources to promote this development. It is about undertake a path that offers numerous learning opportunities, which we will be able to gradually integrate into the various areas in which we operate.

"Self-love is the starting point in the growth of every person aware of the importance of taking responsibility for their own life."

– Viktor Frankl –

Professional self-awareness: what is it?

When we talk about self-awareness, we are referring to ability necessary to recognize and perceive our reality and relate to it. 

The term "professional" emphasizes that this competence relates to the work we carry out, on which we have trained and from which we obtain remuneration.

It is, therefore, the way in which we recognize and perceive our work environment and the elements that revolve around it. Let's see some associated dimensions:

  • Reliability. Having professional self-awareness means moving with responsibility; remember the duties included in the job and take into account the consequences of their actions.
  • Ethics:. It consists in knowing and applying the set of moral norms that regulate the activity.
  • Reflection on ethical principles, one's actions and interactions with others. Deontology is the set of ethical-social rules governing the exercise of a profession (Garzanti dictionary definition).

To acquire social and individual responsibility, it is also necessary to assume one's rights and duties, accompanied by self-regulation and updating. In other words, continuous training, work interaction and responsibility towards oneself and others.

Enhance growth

Once we have acquired professional self-awareness, we stop being on the defensive and taking everything personally; we also know that simple assumptions can lead us to be wrong. Before falling into error, we prefer to ask.

In addition to this, we don't feel the need to please everyone, because we know that it is not the essence of the job. We are able to establish a deep connection with some colleagues and with the people with whom we apply assertiveness to work effectively.

When we have to face a conflict, we manage to put ourselves in the shoes of others; we manage our communication in the best way, so as not to hurt the other person, while setting precise limits.

It is a path of growth, as we are integral beings. This means that by developing one area, we influence others. For instance, if we work on our emotional management skills, useful in leadership, we also work in the affective field, with repercussions on a social and health level.

Everything related to awareness is explored, such as staying focused on actions and their effects, perceptions, motivations, thoughts and emotions. They are elements that strengthen personal growth, as they increase physical, emotional and social well-being starting from self-knowledge and the ability to self-regulate.

This, at the same time, reduces anxiety, insomnia and stress. Executive functions improve, stay connected to the present moment, promote acceptance, activate the senses, among other things. This path will be different for each person depending on the strategies used, which can be applied to work and other areas of life.

How to enhance professional self-awareness?

We can do this in several ways. On the one hand, it is essential to always stay up to date, as the theory, techniques, rules change or become obsolete. Staying abreast allows us to act ethically.

We can combine professional updating with an in-depth study of the ethical principles in our area of ​​expertise. For this purpose, it is necessary to consult the manuals and the relative codes. 

It is equally important to take responsibility for our actions. In this way we will grow as people and as professionals. To this we can add the recognition of the rights and duties of others.

Another modality is feedback. We can not only learn from our own observations, but also from those of others. We will be able to ask colleagues for advice, read, have a mentor, enter supervisory processes, etc.

We can also get close to a psychotherapeutic path able to promote general well-being and acquire self-awareness techniques. We will thus be able to count on support to get the best out of ourselves and achieve our goals.


In summary, empower professional self-awareness can have positive repercussions in other areas of our life. However, it is necessary to develop some skills to succeed.

Among these, ethical awareness, self-knowledge, reflective and personal awareness, updating and internalizing the rights and duties related to one's work, accompanied by their application. We grow by exploring, rebuilding, learning and aiming for our goals in a healthy way.

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