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Steps to Increase Your Awareness & Be Your Best Self at Work…and in Life!

Increase awareness - best self in work and life

I think it’s fair to say that most of us want to have positive, successful work and personal relationships. And it’s also probably safe to say that sometimes, it’s not easy! 

Reacting rather than responding to certain people and situations can lead to impulsive decision-making and unintended consequences. Relating to others from our best selves is crucial to be successful with those we work with (employees, co-workers etc.) as well as with those in our personal lives. Whether it’s a person that rubs you the wrong way or a pattern of reactivity that you can’t seem to shake, there are ways to turn it around and improve the connection when you find yourself reactive to others and situations. 

Here are five steps you can take to increase your self-awareness and maximize your ability to effectively connect with others. 

  1. Notice when we’re “triggered(having an uncomfortable emotional response to someone or a situation). The best way to connect with others is to be present – physically, mentally, and emotionally. When we experience uncomfortable feelings, we tend to shift out of the moment and our ability to relate and communicate with others is lowered.

    Action: Commit to pausing and noticing when you are triggered.  

  2. Consider what we’re feeling. The core feelings we have are joy, anger, sadness and fear, though we experience many subtleties of each of them and often, more than one. For example, we may feel cheerful, tranquil, enthusiastic, annoyed, resentful, jealous, mistrustful, hurt, discouraged, disappointed etc. Identifying the feeling(s) helps us become aware of what your unmet needs may be, which leads to the next step.

    Action: Notice sensations in your body (tight jaw, slumped posture etc.) and use them as helpful clues to what you may be feeling. 

  3. Consider what we need. We have universal human needs that we must meet in order to survive (air, water, food, shelter etc.) and many others, in order to thrive (support, respect, understanding, valuing etc.).

    Action: When triggered, jot down all the thoughts you are having about the person and situation as a tool for identifying your needs.

  4.  Consider how we can meet that need(s). When we’re hungry, we eat. When we’re tired we rest (well, usually). When we’re triggered by a person or situation, it can be harder to identify what we need and to take action. For example, when we are feeling lonely, we may have a need for connection or when we’re confused, a need for more information.

    Action: Review the list of universal human needs at and note what you are needing. 

  5.  Meet that need(s). Either take action to meet your needs and/or consider a request, not a demand, you might make of someone else. When we expect others to meet our needs, it can negatively impact the relationship and our ability to get our needs met. However, when we realize WE are responsible for meeting our own needs and make requests of others, the connection is strengthened.

    Action: Practice what is uncomfortable. If you usually count on others to meet your needs, choose one and try meeting it yourself. If you are usually a solo flyer, consider stretching yourself by identifying a need and asking someone for help.

Practicing these steps ultimately brings us back into the present moment and increases our ability to connect with others. 

We are emotional beings, whether we want to be or not. Our bodies are wired to feel, then think. Having awareness of our feelings helps us identify and meet our needs so we can be our best selves and strengthen all of our relationships. 

To learn more about how we can help you improve workplace communication, reach out to Tara for a complimentary consultation.  Email:

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Tara Wear

I am a workplace communications expert and founder of Powerful Connections Now. We provide tools and strategies for organizations that boosts productivity and strengthens trust resulting in increased employee happiness.


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