Leading yourself … knowing yourself

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

We’ve been talking a lot about Leading Self over the last few months and how leadership is not a position but a way of being. No matter your role, position, what you do in life, our belief is that we are all leaders. The decisions and choices we make everyday impact on ourselves and others and focusing on leading can really help us to improve our and others everyday lives.

A key element to leading self is to know yourself including your values and your strengths. As Aristotle said, “It’s the beginning of all wisdom”. We have been working hard with many businesses to help build the skills within their teams to help them to improve their knowledge of self. One of these is knowing and playing to your strengths.

You might think that your strengths are ‘just things you’re naturally good at’, but they’re so much more than that! Strengths are something that exist within us, come naturally to us and give us energy. Sometimes we don’t even know we have them!

So beware…strengths can easily be overlooked when it comes to personal development. How many times have you focused on developing your weaknesses rather than using your strengths? More times than you can remember, probably. Sure, if you know what your weakness are you can manage them better and perhaps minimise their use, but surely it is far more energising to use your strengths to compensate for any weakness?

If you’re put on the spot and asked to identify your strengths, a lot of people find it difficult. That’s why it’s great to have an opportunity to understand what they are and then look at ways of playing to them, bringing them to the fore and sharing them with others.

When we use our strengths and live our personal values we feel energised and true to ourselves. It brings about a sense of fulfilment and authenticity. It helps us perform at our best and deliver great results. Sharing your values with each other in a team environment at work also means that you understand each other better and can start to behave in a way that respects what’s important to you all. And, once business owners understand the strengths of the people within their team, they can align tasks and projects with the right people for the best results, both for them and for the business.

So, why not consider taking some time as an individual (through coaching) or as a team (through team building) to explore your values and strengths and really focus on knowing yourself. We took a team out for the day to walk one of the 3 Peaks whilst exploring our strengths together, so it doesn’t have to be sitting in a room, it’s a great opportunity to get the team out for the day and do some experiential learning. Here’s what Rachel Goddard, the Managing Director of Intandem Communications had to say:-

“Doing a ‘Yorkshire Peak’ with the Intandem Communications team has been on my bucket list for a while. Thank you Pro-Development for throwing yourself in wholeheartedly to the challenge and for making it such fun! Your thorough planning, thoughtful preparation and amazing insights meant we absolutely got the most possible out of our day. We LOVED every minute and we’ll remember it and what we’ve learned forever!”

Understanding your strengths and values can sound quite deep to some people, or a bit ‘pink and fluffy’ to others, but it has teeth! You can’t dismiss the importance of learning about yourself and others, and we have seen some incredible results with individuals and teams who have spent the time focussing on these.

If you would like to increase your self-awareness, or work with your team to uncover their strengths and values, contact us. You may also be eligible for 40% funding if you are based in Leeds City Region or York, North Yorkshire and the East Riding. We’d be very happy to help you bring out the best in you or/and your team.

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