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Are You Your Own Stranger? The Value of a Personal Assessment

Self - Discovery

Now more than ever, information is readily available and people are often one click away from countless online resources. There is plenty opportunity to discover, learn, grow and develop. Many people take advantage of this. One could argue we know more about the world now than ever before.

The question I ask however, is how much do we know about ourselves? In comparison to external discovery, very little focus is directed towards self-discovery. Many people think they know themselves, but do they really? How about you? Do you truly know yourself? Here are some questions to consider:

What motivates you?

When was the last time you stopped and actually thought about this? I mean really spent some time to think it through? When you have an answer, don’t stop there, ask yourself why? What about ‘x’ motivates you? What do you value?

How do you make decisions?

What goes into your decision making process? Do you make quick decisions? Why? Is this how you prefer to make decisions or are you reacting to pressures within your environment? Do you like having time to analyze and weigh different options? How about seeking others input and opinions? How do you prefer to make decisions?

How do other others see you?

You have a certain perception of yourself. Do others see you the same?

What are your true strengths?

Again, when was the last time you took some time and thought about this? Take 15-30 minutes and write down what you feel your strengths are. Be as honest as possible. Take it a step further and ask yourself, “How do these strengths manifest themselves in my professional and personal life?”

What type of work environment is best for you?

In what type of environment are you most comfortable in? Professionally, what contributes to you being your most productive self? Personally, when and where are you most at ease?

How do you prefer to learn?

There are many ways to learn and acquire new skills. Everyone is different. Some are visual learners; some are more hands-on, while others prefer lectures. Which style is best for you? How so? Does your preferred learning style change for different circumstances?

When we develop a deeper understanding of ourselves, we are better able to position ourselves for success. Our personal assessments help you gain a more in depth understanding of your true strengths and potential, how you prefer to behave and what motivates you. Contact us today to learn how our personal assessments can help you.

Marathon Woman

In my ongoing effort to provide executive and business coaching services in the Greater New York and Philadelphia areas as well as in many other places (including India) I come across many fascinating and interesting people, one of them Oi Yen Lam from Malaysia. I met her in New York while on assignment for AFS Intercultural Programs (www.afs.org).

A couple of years ago I published a piece from her on the iDIMENSIONS Business Coaching Services Bulletin Board – www.idimensions.net/bulletin.html [read article]. In the brief piece, she vividly described how she had accomplished a personal goal — completing the 2010 New York Marathon to raise funds for the AFS Intercultural Program Diversity Scholarships:

My preparation for the marathon proved to be an exercise in discipline and mental focus, as I squeezed my training runs between work and personal commitments. During the race, I “hit the wall” at Mile 18, when I reached my physical limits and had to mentally will myself to reach the finish line. Ultimately, what fueled my mental alignment during the final hours of physical exhaustion was the incredible support of my family, friends, donors and the cheering bystanders around me.  I successfully made it to the finish line within the goal I had set for myself and reached my fundraising benchmark.

Oi Yen is now finishing up her MBA at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Post-MBA, she plans begin a new career as a management consultant in Seoul, South Korea. As she told me “It’s a daunting move, but I look forward to new adventures.”To kickstart 2013, Oi Yen was recently in Peru, where she climbed the 6,057m Mount Chachani with 20 classmates.

From iDIMENSIONS Business Coaching Services we asked her why this (constantly challenging yourself) is important to her?

I believe that self-awareness is a critical component of personal development. When I am battling severe altitude sickness and making decisions for my team at 18,000 feet, I gain a better understanding of my decision-making styles, motivations and vulnerabilities while under pressure. By reflecting on the reasons and outcomes of my decisions, I learn how to be a better teammate and leader. Taking up a new challenge is also a great way to observe and learn from those around you, as I meet so many inspiring people during my journeys.

Finally, I enjoy new challenges because they remind me that I am living the life to the fullest. I am always amazed by the beauty of human emotion and the world around us. It’s hard to forget the faces of your fellow marathoners when they cross the finish line, the joy of making a new friend in a foreign country, or the sunrise above the cloud line.

The “Marathon Method” – Learning through challenging and testing yourself – an excellent preparation for leadership of yourself and others.