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Need a Self-Assessment? Here Are 2 Great Questions to Ask Yourself at Work

Need a Self-Assessment? Here Are 2 Great Questions to Ask Yourself at Work

We may think of ourselves as rounded individuals who are good at most things at work and even-handed in our dealings with people. However, the reality is that most of us have significant strengths and significant weaknesses both in job competence and in people skills. This matters.

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    The trouble really occurs when people are blind to their weaknesses. This is particularly true for managers and the more senior the person the greater the danger if they are oblivious of their faults or in denial about them. So how can we detect our faults? These two questions will help provided you follow the procedure.

    The second question is the really powerful one but the first question helps and makes it easier to ask the second question and get an honest response. You can ask the questions of a colleague, of your boss or of somebody who works for you. The key rule is that you cannot disagree in any way with their answers. You cannot enter a discussion. All you can do is thank them for their response or possibly ask for more detail and then thank them. Explain this process to the other person before asking the questions.

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    Here are the questions:

    1. What am I good at?
    2. In what areas do I need to improve?

    As a manager you will learn a great deal about yourself and your management style if you ask the people who work for you these questions in such a way as to solicit honest feedback. Their perceptions are realities. What they see is what you are — for them. Once you know your own weaknesses then you can put in place plans to compensate for them. Some of the weaknesses might be simple behavioral issues — for example, you do not give enough feedback and praise to your staff. Once you know this you can make a point of fixing it.

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    I recently worked with the CEO of a small recruitment company with 30 employees. He had founded the company and built it up. He had great difficult in delegating. He wanted to micro-manage every aspect of the business. He was smarter and more experienced than most of his employees so he was continually tempted to intervene in their work and tell them how to do things. The positive thing was that he was aware of this problem and welcomed ideas on how to solve it.  We put together a plan to help him to delegate more, to empower his staff and to gradually let go.

    If for example you are good at communication and strategy but poor at administration and detail work then it is best to recognize this. For core competences you should build on your strengths and compensate for your weaknesses. Don’t spend more time on administration — spend less. Get someone else to do the paperwork while you can concentrate on the things you are good at.

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    To be more successful you need to be honest with yourself, start by asking these two questions. Quietly assess the answers and then make a plan to build on your strengths and overcome your weaknesses.

    Featured photo credit: Question Marks via Shutterstock and inline photo by Colin K via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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    Paul Sloane

    Professional Keynote Speaker, Author, Innovation Expert

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    Last Updated on July 27, 2020

    7 Ways to Make Life Changing Decisions

    7 Ways to Make Life Changing Decisions

    Most people don’t know the profound effects of making life decisions. Often times, we go through life oblivious to what thoughts we are thinking and what actions we are taking. Every single decision we make in our days shapes our current reality. It shapes who we are as a person because we habitually follow through with the decisions we make without even realizing it.

    If you’re unhappy with the results in your life right now, making the effort to changing your decisions starting today will be the key to creating the person you want to be and the life you want to have in the future.

    Let’s talk about the 7 ways you can go about making life changing decisions.

    1. Realize the Power of Decision Making

    Before you start making a decision, you have to understand what a decision does.

    Any decision that you make causes a chain of events to happen. When you decide to pick up a cigarette to smoke it, that decision might result in you picking up another one later on to get that same high feeling. After a day, you may have gone through a pack without knowing it. But if you decide not to smoke that first cigarette and make a decision every five minutes to focus your attention somewhere else when you get that craving, after doing this for a week, your cravings will eventually subside and you will become smoke-free.

    But it comes down to making that very first decision of deciding whether or not to pick up that cigarette.

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    2. Go with Your Gut

    Often times, we take too much time to make a decision because we’re afraid of what’s going to happen. As a result of this, we go through things like careful planning, deep analysis, and pros and cons before deciding. This is a very time consuming process.

    Instead, learn to trust your gut instinct. For the most part, your first instinct is usually the one that is correct or the one that you truly wanted to go with.

    Even if you end up making a mistake, going with your gut still makes you a more confident decision maker compared to someone who takes all day to decide.

    3. Carry Your Decision Out

    When you make a decision, act on it. Commit to making a real decision.

    What’s a real decision? It’s when you decide on something, and that decision is carried out through action. It’s pointless to make a decision and have it played out in your head, but not doing anything about it. That’s the same as not making a decision at all.

    If you want to make real changes in life, you have to make it a habit to apply action with your decision until it’s completed. By going through this so many times, you will feel more confident with accomplishing the next decision that you have in mind.

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    4. Tell Others About Your Decisions

    There’s something about telling other people what we’re going to do that makes us follow through.

    For example, for the longest time, I’ve been trying to become an early riser. Whenever I tried to use my own willpower, waking up early without falling back asleep felt impossible. So what I did was I went to a forum and made the decision to tell people that I would wake up at 6 AM and stay up. Within two days, I was able to accomplish doing this because I felt a moral obligation to follow through with my words even though I failed the first time.

    Did people care? Probably not, but just the fact that there might be someone else out there seeing if you’re telling the truth will give you enough motivation to following through with your decision.

    5. Learn from Your Past Decisions

    Even after I failed to follow through my decision the first time when I told people I was going to wake up early and stay up, I didn’t give up. I basically asked myself, “What can I do this time to make it work tomorrow?”

    The truth is, you are going to mess up at times when it comes to making decisions. Instead of beating yourself up over it, learn something from it.

    Ask yourself, what was good about the decision I made? What was bad about it? What can I learn from it so I can make a better decision next time?

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    Remember, don’t put so much emphasis focusing on short term effects; instead focus on the long term effects.

    6. Maintain a Flexible Approach

    I know this might sound counter-intuitive, but making a decision doesn’t mean that you can’t be open to other options.

    For example, let’s say you made the decision to lose ten pounds by next month through cardio. If something comes up, you don’t have to just do cardio. You can be open to losing weight through different methods of dieting as long as it helps you reach your goal in the end.

    Don’t be stubborn to seek out only one way of making a decision. Embrace any new knowledge that brings you closer to accomplishing your initial decision.

    7. Have Fun Making Decisions

    Finally, enjoy the process. I know decision-making might not be the most fun thing world to do, but when you do it often, it becomes a game of opportunity.

    You’ll learn a lot about yourself on the way, you’ll feel and become a lot more confident when you’re with yourself and around others, and making decisions will just become a lot easier after you do it so often that you won’t even think about it.

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    Anything you decide to do from this point on can have a profound effect later on. Opportunities are always waiting for you. Examine the decisions that you currently have in the day.

    Are there any that can be changed to improve your life in some way? Are there any decisions that you can make today that can create a better tomorrow?

    Final Thoughts

    Some decisions in life are harder to make, but with these 7 pieces of advice, you can trust yourself more even when you’re making some of the most important decisions.

    Making a decision is the only way to move forward. So remember, any decision is better than none at all.

    More Tips for Making Better Decisions

    Featured photo credit: Justin Luebke via unsplash.com

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