Understanding Yourself and Others
Successfully leading others begins with our own personal developmentLeading others begins with our own personal development.Becoming a successful leader is a journey of our own self development. In order to lead others, we need to be able to relate to and connect with people, their motivations, needs and aspirations and in the case of transformational or charismatic leadership, their deepest values and core beliefs. Before others are willing to be lead by us, they will want to connect to something within us - something that is authentic, real and true.This is why when we talk about leadership, we often focus on ‘authentic leadership’ or being an ‘authentic leader’. In order to be an authentic leader, we need to be a person that others can relate to. We need to know ourselves, our beliefs and values and how they manifest in our attitudes, behaviours and actions and in the impact that we have on others. We need to direct our self development so that we understand: Our strengths so that we can deploy them;
Our weaknesses so that we can manage them; and
The qualities, skills and behaviours that we need to develop in order to lead, motivate and inspire others Personal Development: Developing Self Awareness.Before you can plan your personal development you need to develop your self awareness and assess your strengths and development needs. There are several ways that you can approach this:
Self assessment / questionnaires: there are many leadership skills and qualities self assessments available Formal assessment e.g. through a leadership training programme in your workplace Feedback and discussion with your leader or other senior stakeholders 360 degree feedback
Working with a coach or mentor
Self monitoring and reflection on your outward behaviour and its observable impact; what has worked well / not so well in the past? In all cases where you are being assessed or receiving feedback from others, try to assess yourself on the same basis at the same time. Then answer these questions: How close is your own internal view of yourself to the way that others see you? What is the likely cause of any divergence of views?
Do you understand how outward displays of your personality, attitudes and behaviour influence others’ perceptions of you? How does your personality, attitudes and behaviour impact others (e.g. their motivation, emotions and behaviour) in the workplace? How would you rate your level of self-awareness? Where are your blind spots? Related topics for iWise2 members:
A Leader’s Guide to Giving and Receiving Feedback
Finally, in order to understand yourself and your willingness to lead others you should also take a detailed look at what really drives you. What drives you will influence what you value and enjoy, your attitudes and behaviours in the workplace and is likely to provide insight into your strengths and talents. To find out what drives you, work through the comprehensive ‘What Drives Me’ questionnaire in the Setting Your Goals Workbook.
With all of this information, you should now be able to answer the following:
What qualities, skills, strengths and behaviours do I have that positively influence my ability to lead others? What values, attitudes and behaviours reduce or limit my ability to connect with and lead others? What qualities, skills, strengths and behaviours do I need to develop or strengthen in order to improve my ability to lead and bring out the best in others? What drives me as a person, and how authentically do I reflect my inner self in my observable personality and behaviour? Your Personal Development Plan
After assessing your development needs, the next step is to: Set your personal development goals
Document the actions that you need to take in order to achieve them in a Personal Development Plan (PDP). Set milestones to track your progress towards your development goals. You...
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