Last week we discussed the importance of being authentic and avoiding the trap of accidental inauthenticity caused by mimicking others instead of developing and leveraging your own unique strengths. Of course, in order to act and speak authentically, you must first develop a clear picture of who you are and what your strengths are.
So how do you do this? The key is a combination of personal reflection and honest feedback. Here are 5 tips, adapted from Chapter 5 of my book, Be An Inspirational Leader:
- Take the time to seriously reflect on what makes you “you;” think about your core values and your biggest goals.
- Consider what’s important to you, what you dream about, what you fear, what you enjoy, and what inspires you.
- Be careful not to construct an image of what you wishwere true of you; be as honest and realistic as possible.
- Acknowledge that you have blind spots (we all do) and seek out the perspective of people you trust and who know you well.
- Consider utilizing one or more of the many assessment tools available (e.g. Myers-Briggs®, DiSC®, StrengthsFinder®, etc.)
Take sufficient time to examine and evaluate what you learn as a result of personal reflection, professional assessment tools, and candid discussion with others. Take any test results and outside feedback seriously, but also be careful to not let those perspectives define you; remember, those perspectives are by definition merely points of view, and only represent a glimpse of who you are—not the whole picture.
Last tip: embrace who you are and be yourself!