How do you develop a reliable self-image?

Your self-image has a significant influence on your behavior.

Recently, I was asked to facilitate a large meeting for the management of an international company.
In our conversation, I realized that the client’s needs didn’t align well with who I am, what I do, and where my strengths lie. Therefore, I decided not to take on the assignment.
As a coach, I work one-on-one or with smaller management teams. No matter how challenging and exciting the assignment sounded, this client would be better served by a strong facilitator than by me.

The image you have of yourself greatly influences your behavior. It impacts the choices you make and, consequently, the successes and failures you experience.

The topic of “self-image” comes up in almost every coaching process. It consistently shows how crucial it is to have an accurate understanding of who you are, how you handle relationships, your work, and your outlook on life. Imagine you’re looking for a new job. A strong self-image is essential for determining what suits you. It’s equally crucial for getting hired and performing well in your job.

For an accurate self-image, you want to use multiple sources.

A quick and reliable way to start is by writing down your strengths and weaknesses. If you struggle with either, consider that your strengths are the qualities you easily show to others, while your weaknesses are the things you prefer to keep hidden.

Combine your own insights with feedback from those around you. Gathering 360-degree feedback is straightforward and incredibly valuable. Ask 20 people you regularly interact with to describe three of your qualities, followed by one area for improvement. Use email or messaging apps to give them time to reflect, and set a deadline. Choose people from both your personal and professional circles, mixing horizontal relationships (colleagues, friends, siblings) with vertical ones (supervisors, parents, children, those you lead). What patterns can you identify in the responses you receive?

Finally, you can use a personality questionnaire. At www.16personalities.com, you’ll find a short, free version of one of the most widely used assessments. Once you have your report based on your answers, read it carefully and consider whether you recognize yourself in each trait described. You may not identify with some traits. In those cases, think about how you do see yourself and make a note. Just the act of reflecting in this way helps sharpen your self-perception.

Want to know more? Send me a message.