Effective management starts with self management. And self management starts with self discovery. Each manager is his or her own best resource. As with any resource, managers should put sincere effort into the development and improvement of that resource. But, unless you know who you are, you won’t know what you can do and where you need help. Knowing your strengths as well as your weaknesses can help give direction in life, can make you much more effective in setting and reaching goals, and will make you a more well-rounded person.
You may argue that it is your Manager’s responsibility to identify (and provide you feedback on) your strengths and weaknesses. But is your life so insignificant for you that you’d throw it on mercy of someone else? Remember that your growth is your responsibility. Also, how many hours do you spend with your Boss every day? Every week? Every year? You spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year with yourself. So, who else can know you better than yourself? Once a while having a date with yourself, your inner self, could be an eye opening experience. Your Manager can just provide you few pointers, mostly generic ones. But you are different from any other person who has ever lived in the history of the universe. You are the only one in the whole of creation who has your particular set of abilities. Finding the Inner You is something that only you can do – Who else but you can know which abilities you possess and what kind of limitations you have. You know for sure that you are your well wisher; you know that you are not jealous of yourself; and you know that you are on your side. So, you can’t go wrong in judging yourself.
Knowing who you are means knowing what you can do (your strengths) and what you cannot do (your weaknesses). But identifying your strengths and weaknesses won’t be an easy task for you. It is really hard (and requires total truthfulness) to be completely honest with yourself about yourself. We think that we know right off what our strengths are. But trust me, mostly we don’t. We think we do, but we don’t. Unless we make a conscious effort to know, we won’t. Knowing your weaknesses is even harder to come to terms with. It’s easy to get confused between what you don’t like to do, versus where you’re actually the weakest. Knowing who you are also means knowing what you like to do (your likings) and what you do not like to do (your disliking). I will be talking more on all these in my blog, “Creating Your SWLD Matrix”.
After you know what’s there inside your toolbox, it is important for you to know what you want to do with your tools. A life without an aim is lame. Unless you know where you want to go, you will never reach there. Ambition drives motivation, determination, and all the ingredients to achieve success in your life. No matter how successful you are or a big loser you are, your dream or goal is there inside your mind. You might just hide it from everyone (including yourself), but it is there. And when you know who you are, your goal becomes crystal clear. I will be talking more on how to reach your professional goal in my blog, “Creating Your Career Graph Timeline”.
After you know who you are, help your team members also to know who they are. Encourage them to create their mySWLD matrix and their myTimeline. Remember that your organization invests money in you (the Managers), so that you may invest your time, your experience, your passion and your soul in your people (your team)! Ask your team to use these self analysis tools, and bring the notes to their 1:1 with you. Also explain to them how it would help you to help them even better. I will be talking more about this in my next blogs, “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine : For Managees”, and “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine : For Managers”…