In this session, participants will explore self-awareness as a desirable character trait.
By the end of this session, participants will be able to:
Explain the importance of self-awareness as a personal characteristic.
- Who Am I? activity sheet—make a copy for each participant
- Pen or pencil for each participant
Text in italics should be read aloud to participants. As you engage your post in activities each week, please include comments, discussions, and feedback to the group relating to Character, Leadership, and Ethics. These are important attributes that make a difference in the success of youth in the workplace and in life.
Who Am I?
Pass out the Who Am I? activity sheet. Ask participants to take a moment to think about their choices in life. Remind them that none of us always makes good choices. Usually, we make both good and bad choices. But it’s important that we learn from our mistakes when we make bad choices so that we can make wiser choices in the future.
Ask Explorers to do the following:
- Think of three choices they have made recently that relate to each of the underlying character traits listed on the activity sheet. These can be good or bad decisions.
- Remind them that this activity sheet is personal and need not be shared with anyone else. Give them time to fill it out, then ask: “How many of you have changes you want to make?” After a show of hands, tell them to start thinking of steps they can take to make the needed changes.
Conflicts in Values
Tell Explorers that some of the hardest choices we have to make occur when two basic values that we believe in come into conflict. For teenagers that problem is most often presented as having to choose between loyalty to friends and some other basic value—such as honesty, avoiding drug use, or being law abiding. Teens don’t like to “narc” on friends to parents. They may think that being a loyal friend means not telling when they see their friends doing things that are not right or may even be illegal.
Lead a discussion in which you ask Explorers the difference between the short-term consequences and the long-term consequences of their silence when they see a friend doing something illegal— such as shoplifting. For example, a short-term consequence of their failure to tell their friend’s parents may be that they keep the friend for a while. One long-term consequence may be that their friend continues shoplifting and eventually goes to jail.
When they consider long-term consequences versus short-term consequences, who really is a friend—the person who tells or the person who remains silent? Ask Explorers to consider other such scenarios. What are other things that a true friend would do?
Use the questions below to carry out a closing reflection.
Some sample questions are below. They are designed to help the participants apply what they have learned to their own interests. You are welcome to use these questions or develop your own questions that relate to your post or specific focus area.
- How would you describe the idea of self-awareness?
- How is self-awareness an important characteristic for leaders?
- How might you use this in your potential career?
- How is self-awareness important in working with other people?
- What are some ways that Explorers can practice becoming self-aware?
- How might you use this in life or in college?
- Why is this important?
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