Know thyself – the first steps to becoming an effective leader

Earthen Lamp Projects Executive Jaanika Okk has been taking part in Emotional Intelligence and Effective Leadership Behaviour workshops led by Johanna van Osch at Coventry University. Jaanika tells us more about this insightful experience so far.


We are often very quick to judge others, but how well do you know yourself? Not just know, but understand yourself? Why do you react to certain situations in a particular way?

I’ve previously thought that only one type of temperament could be applicable to you. You are either extroverted and social (sanguine), extroverted and independent (choleric), introverted and independent (melancholic) or introverted and social (phlegmatic). You are either one or another.

This summer, I took part in research on Emotional Intelligence and Effective Leadership Behaviour led by Johanna van Osch at Coventry University. Her research is all about analysing different leadership methods using Lumina Learning . I was impressed by how diverse the analysis was. I am not just introverted melancholic, but a mix. Yes, I am very introverted, but when I am meeting clients for example, I am a social extrovert. We all wear different masks when we are in secure environments or in extreme situations when we are influenced by stress. The Lumina Learning system analyses the different masks: underlying persona, everyday persona and overextended persona.

The workshop began with understanding yourself. Prior to the workshop we completed, and asked others to complete, questionnaires about ourselves. As a result, we received three reports:

1) Lumina Emotion Portrait – a personalised assessment of emotions and behaviours aimed to  increase self-awareness and improve personal and professional relationships.

2) Lumina Spark – aims to raise self-awareness and help understand behaviours. This information can then be used to be more effective at making things happen and to improve communication with others.

3) Lumina Leader 360 – compares how others see you and how you perceive yourself.

The workshop is still ongoing and there is yet more to find out about myself, however all three reports have already been useful. They offer analysis and feedback to the questionnaire results and suggestions for further development. All incredibly useful when considering how to be an effective leader.

What have a I learned so far? Be honest with yourself and analyse your actions. Why did you react to a certain situation this way? Was it fair? Could you have approached it differently? Ask those you trust for feedback about your actions. Write down scenarios and how you would have liked to respond if you could experience them again. After all, we are all human, we make mistakes. What matters is that we learn from those mistakes.