You are your own best resource

Aristotle said it well: “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom”.

This is also true in your professional career. In much of what you do and experience, you will take your own situation and your own value system as the norm and rate all other experiences against it.

This behavior is only natural but you need to ensure that you have the best information about yourself that you can get. So make sure you seek feedback at regular intervals. Do not think that just because no one is complaining that you are doing a stellar job.

People are not inclined to share bad news or comments easily. They tend to pay you compliments but will discuss your opportunities for improvements with others before they’ll share it with you. Remember as soon as you enter a room or meeting you are being evaluated from all sides and people have opinions about you and your views. As soon as you leave the room or meeting those views will be shared, but not necessarily with you.

So what can you do? Well for starters, be alert to each and any piece of feedback you can get. Engage when you believe your message is not fully supported, get to the bottom of the issue and do not skim over the surface believing it will sort itself out. The quality of your work may be great but for it to deliver results most likely you will need the cooperation of others. Oftentimes listening to others and taking some of their suggestions to improve the acceptance of your work will yield better results than continuing to push your own agenda.

Seeking feedback, through a 360 feedback tool, from seniors, subordinates and co-workers is not the only way to become more self aware. You can also take a test to find out more about your own style and personality. The Caliper profile is a great tool for this.

Other than that it helps me to keep a diary with notes and plans. From time to time I review it and flip back several months. Interesting input to see how you started a project and where you ended up. Try it, you will get additional feedback and insights from it.

As we evaluate the world using ourselves as a measure, we owe it to ourselves to make sure that measure is well calibrated and so seeking feedback and digging into the inner-workings of your personality is essential.

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