Self-Discovery – A guide for Growth
 
Sylvia Lane

As we face major changes in our world of work, our individual lives require adjustments. The better we understand our own strengths and weaknesses, the more we are able to not only survive, but thrive. Regardless of how we came to be the way we are, when we understand and accept what we do best and what challenges us most, we can face any problem with a more effective plan. Personality assessments, such as Myers-Briggs and DISC, can help individuals and teams understand their personality preferences and how to thrive in a dynamic and changing work environment.

What is the ideal environment for your best performance in your job? What can you do to encourage and support that structure? When it is necessary to work differently from your natural preferences, how do you make sure that you can still have peak performance? When we act against our preferences, we can still get positive results even though it may require more or different effort and focus and a willingness to act in situations that could be temporarily uncomfortable to reach our goals.

For example, I recently worked with Jan who had been promoted in a publishing company to evaluate and supervise the work of two other editors. She had loved working in her off-time on her own book. She understood that she was an excellent writer and could be helpful to others who were doing similar work. She was flattered with the promotion but not as happy on the job. She saw herself as a “loner” and tended to be impatient in dealing with others who worked differently and were not as well-honed in their skills as she. Of course, this is why she was the one promoted. She was more experienced and efficient at the job. She had highly-developed skills which she could share. Understanding the dynamics of her own personality helped her make necessary changes when working on a team. She learned to embrace her introversion and do extroverted tasks at work, such as managing people. She learned to indulge her introversion preference and need for alone time away from the office. To re-energize and return to work with enthusiasm, she invests more time to her own personal writing, running alone on nearby trails, and spending lots of time reading for fun instead of for work. She learned to shift her focus at work by providing input and attention on someone else’s writing and editing. She makes time to get to know her new team and accept that it is alright to be in a leadership role and celebrates their achievements as well as her own. She accepted that her preference was to be a “loner” but learned to enjoy and thrive connecting with others by making conscious choices instead of doing what came naturally. This has helped her in her personal as well as her professional life. She used her self-discovery as a guide to create a plan to support the changes she needed to make in her new role.

We do not live in a world that supports only what we prefer to have happen or how we prefer to organize our work and our life, how we prefer to communicate or make decisions. One thing that we can always count on is diversity in our world and in our work. Understanding our own personal preferences and motivations makes a difference in knowing how and why we act the way we do. Learning others’ preferences helps us to also know how to best support them. We can act in different ways and get positive results. How have you survived and even thrived when it was necessary to “go against the grain” of who you know yourself to be and how you prefer to work? Will you share some of these experiences with our readers so we can learn from you?

With Warm Regards,
Sylvia

 

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  • Jeffrey W. Schultz on October 16, 2014

    Sylvia

    My firm is at the same stage the firm I left 13 years ago was. The firm continues to grow. The staff is young (most of the accountants are in late 20’s). The staff is hungry. I am getting older. But not old. 13 years ago I was in a similar position. However, I became disengaged. I had some idea’s as to how i wanted to improve and grow the firm. My boss was uninterested. So soon I started my own firm. I am trying to empower the young that to not get detached. We have started with have them have a monthly meeting without the older staff. They brainstorm about what they would like to see improved in the firm. At first the idea’s were generic. But every month they get better. Sometimes I have to read between the lines. Sometime they do not always know the root of why there is a breakdown. But after they have their session I then sit down with them and they present one idea. From there we refine the idea and come up with a final solution that makes sense and everyone finds workable. It is surprising how successful we have been in getting concurrence.

    Just thought I would share

    Jeff

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