Day 3 – You Know Yourself Better Than Anyone, Don’t You?
A long time family friend, Jake Goertzen, is the head scout for the 2004 Stanley Cup-winning Tampa Bay Lightning Hockey Team. Jake has been sending out a weekly email about human nature, health (both mental and physical) as well as his most interesting, worldwide travels as scout of a pro sports team for several years. It will make a fascinating book one day (right, Jake?)
The most recent email I received included these paragraphs, which fit so well with the topic of “self awareness” –
Beware no man more than yourself. – Thomas Fuller
If we're serious about reconditioning our attitudes and thus our self-perception, we want to stack the odds in our favor as much as possible. For one thing, we should stay away from naysayers, fools, fast talkers, seducers—or any others that would nail our shoes to the floor when we want to move forward. It is a wise person indeed who knows who and what to avoid.
Yet it is also wise to remember that we ourselves are both our best friend and worst enemy. Bad companions or not, no one can force us to do anything without our consent. Every day may bring dozens of invitations to cynicism, negativity, self pity, stinking thinking—but we can turn them down. If we accept, however, we have only ourselves to blame. We opened the mail, after all; we picked up the phone.
Because of ignorance, jealousy, or fear, other people may throw rocks in our path. But in the final analysis, we are the ones with both the bad habits that need to be overcome and the power to overcome them. It is we, not anyone else, who hold the key to all that power.
That brings me to today’s topic – Do you know (really know) your strengths and areas to improve? What are you doing to move forward, improve, and be more effective? True selling professionals never rest on their laurels.
One value in really knowing your strengths is that you can make two lists on a sheet of paper – on the left, make the heading “things I like or are my strengths”; and on the right, put “things I don’t like and don’t plan to strengthen right now” – or something like that. Then, go down each column and write in things that you do enjoy doing and things that you absolutely don’t do well or don’t enjoy doing. The result is a list of things you can focus on (the things you like) and a list of items potentially to outsource. Your mind frees up when you don’t have these “tolerations” or burdens to continually deal with if they are always dragging you down.
Another reason to know your strengths and areas to improve is that as a professional – the more you can do to sharpen your skills, the more successful you will be. Don’t just ask yourself, try and get honest feedback from others on areas you could improve on.
We often don’t see ourselves as others do – so ask for input, because feedback is a gift – no matter what it is.
Your Turn – A Way You Can Participate In Your Professional Development:
Ask three people for their ideas on ways you could improve your business or your customer base – be prepared for whatever they reply.
Make a Strengths List – what you are strong in, and what you wish to improve. Post it to remind you when you feel like you’re in a rut – perhaps all you need is a “tweak” in focus or to outsource some tasks, or a reevaluation of what is important to change or improve about yourself.
Read “How To Win Friends And Influence People” or any Dale Carnegie book.