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Self-awareness involves an ability to identify your strengths and weaknesses (e.g. What am I good at? What do I need to improve?). Being self-aware while on placement also involves articulating your personal values and discussing these with others with whom you are working and studying. These critical discussions will help you understand yourself in the context of your field of practice. They will help you ‘own’ your feelings, notice and understand your reactions, and take responsibility for how you conduct yourself in the workplace.

Strategies to develop self-awareness

It is important that you are self-aware during your work placement to ensure a positive learning experience. Try to practise the following techniques to help you develop or improve your self-awareness:

  • Consciously notice what you do and how others respond to you. Noticing is a form of self-monitoring. It is particularly important to notice times when you are feeling ‘different’ or ‘out of your comfort zone’. At these times, ask yourself, ‘What exactly am I feeling? Why am I feeling this way?’

  • Request and listen to feedback from others. Think critically about this feedback and evaluate it. Use it constructively to work on improving areas where you may not be aware enough.

  • Set yourself some personal ‘challenges’ while on placement in areas you know you need to develop.


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