I am a huge fan of self reflection. I believe we should all take time to reflect on our lives, our career, and whatever else you choose to reflect on regularly. It is a way for us to stop and take a moment to review the past, improve on it, get in tune with ourselves, and ultimately make sure we are on the right path in our lives, careers, etc. It is very important to have a clear understanding of who you are, what your goals are, where you want to go, as well as be comfortable with the person that you are.
Another thing I believe that is beneficial to do is to understand how others view you. This can be valuable when trying to understand your expertise/strengths areas, when changing careers and not sure which one to pursue, and also beneficial for managers to understand how their staff might view them. You can create a simple survey which asks your staff, family, and friends various questions in regards to your working style, personality, leadership style, and whatever other areas you want to explore. Below are some sample questions you can ask in your survey:
- When you observe me at work or life, what is always true? What do you always see?
- What is my manner of communicating?
- What am I an expert in?
- How do I relate to others at work? What do I give? What do I expect?
- How do my personality and values affect what I offer?
- What outcomes do you associate with my being involved in something?
- Comments/suggestions for improvements.
After a few answers, you will see a pattern or themes in relation to how others view you which can be very beneficial for reflection. Often we don’t recognize in ourselves the trends that other people see in us. We can be our own worst critique and hearing from others might be an eye opening experience to see what we reflect onto others and the world. It can be good or bad, but the point is it will be a way to better understand yourself and how others view you.
Don’t be intimated by what the answers might be, just got for it. You might be surprised!