Many of us look to others to provide us with validation.
We all seek praise to affirm us and make us feel good. And there is nothing wrong with that, so long as we don’t rely too much on it, and so long as, deep down, we know where our own opportunities lie. This means being honest with ourselves – what we’re good at and what we’re not, what we stand for, what we dislike, what motivates us. What our bad habits are and our good ones too…
Because having a deep knowing of ourselves helps us to navigate our way successfully through our lives.
Many organisations measure people through 360-degree feedback – because it offers a solid all round assessment of an employee’s performance, taking into account feedback from candidates themselves, subordinates, peers and superiors.
These powerful assessments have the ability to really open us up to valuable feedback – but there’s a downside too. There is now a lot more information regarding these assessments and questions around whether or not they offer a valid picture and then there’s the issue of what organisations actually do with this mountain of research they compile anyway.
Find yourself …. and be that
I believe that the very best leadership training you can provide is to teach someone how to get to know themselves – to really get to the deep internal mechanisms of what makes them tick. Understanding their own individual strengths and weaknesses enables leaders to delegate effectively (the things they are not good at) also to build a team of skills that complement their own by employing people whose qualifications, experience and working style add vibrancy and diversity, creating a well-rounded, capable team.
When, as a leader, you understand yourself, you can whole heartedly support the people around you, shaping them into employees whose skills, enthusiasm, motivation and engagement benefit the team as a whole.
There are many good self-assessments available online – and it’s often helpful to get a mentor or a life-coach help you to review the results because while it’s useful to understand those little weak spots (perhaps you suffer procrastination or a need for absolute control, or alternatively you have a tendency to be a ‘blue sky thinker’ who is not really inspired by details) … regardless of what it is, once you recognise it, then you’re in a better position to address it and to amplify your strengths which enables you to truly work at your best too, collaborating with those around you instead of just plodding along ‘managing the project, the budget and the resources.’
Leaders with influence
There are some assessments that unpack your communication style, which is so critical as a way to build rapport, connection and be an influential leader.
The other thing to remember is that we all grow and change. A self-assessment today might not give you the same results as one in 12 months’ time. Do them regularly. Be honest with yourself and deal with those bad habits and unconscious behaviours along the way. Because its only when you truthfully know who you are and what you are working with (and by that I mean what’s within you) that you can rise and thrive, and in doing so, uplift those around you.