Just about any leader or entrepreneur who's ever failed at some point understands the importance of inviting feedback.

Yes, it's powerful because gaining new perspective and wisdom from, perhaps, someone further down the path of success, helps you develop something else: Self-awareness.

You see, with self-awareness accountability blooms. Leaders learn more responsibility of owning up to "their stuff" when "their stuff" is at fault.

Increasing self-awareness is what will lead to the behaviors that everyone wants; it fosters respect, collaboration, and mutual trust. This is an emotionally-intelligent leader.

The Flip Side

Why are some people in the workplace so, well, I hate to say it...dysfunctional? The reason, quite simply, is because they have dysfunctional thinking patterns (i.e., low EQ and a lack of self-awareness), which will certainly lead to poor decision making.

I've seen many distorted thinking patterns that damage relationships in the workplace. Perhaps you work with or for someone that displays these really awful thinking patterns?

Very negative.

Seeing things in black and white, and blowing things out of proportion. The glass for this person is usually half empty as they dwell heavily on the worst possible outcome. They "should" on others, placing expectations of how their colleagues "should" be, thereby limiting their ability to accept others how they are, leading to negativity and the tendency to criticize.

Very demanding.

These low EQ peers or managers will want things their way without consulting with the team. They have narrow-minded expectations -- should I say 'false expectations'? -- that cloud a sense of reality and sabotage work processes.

Very judgmental.

What a judgmental attitude will do is alienate colleagues at work. The best solution for this individual, if they're open to shifting and self-awareness, is to stop jumping to conclusions before hearing all the facts, and start listening intently to improve his communication skills. If this is you, remember this: When we judge, we invite judgment upon ourselves.

Very obsessed.

Do you work with or for someone unable to budge or view things differently? Do they persevere relentlessly about something that is out of their control? Take note: This obsessed person can wreak havoc in the workplace and bring a team down.

Very intolerant.

This is a colleague or manager having a need to have things the way they "should be." They find it difficult to have patience and tolerance for differences that don't fit with their ideal needs and expectations.

Very perfectionistic.

Having a need to be "right" and not make mistakes, as that would mean one is inferior or a failure; having permeating low self-esteem.

Very indecisive.

The inability to make decisions, especially when it counts, hurts the team. These people may suffer from "analysis paralysis." They think too much, get stuck in their heads and intellectualize things too much. Learning to use their intuition and go with their "gut" is a much more effective way to make decisions than to get stuck in analysis paralysis. It's empowering, and peers and colleagues will look at them in a whole new way.10.

As you review some of these scenarios above, which aspects may be the hardest to deal with when faced with a manager or colleague lacking self-awareness? Leave me a comment.