Are you really focusing on your objectives? Do you know exactly what are they? Are your personal attitudes and strengths, completely aligned to reach those objectives?
One of the most interesting book I read during these last two years, is “Coaching and Leadership” written by Deering, Dilts and Russel (http://www.alphaleaders.com/
What I’ve found so fascinating in that book, regards some remarkable techniques that can be used to align yourself. Align in terms of better understanding which scope and objectives you want/would/should aim to and, finally, arranging a way to to effectively achieve them.
Sometimes, in fact, it happens that I found myself struggling for taking important business or prefessional decisions. In those case I use some suggestions coming from that book and some other taken from PM and PNL to find my own way.
This post limits the context to which those techniques can be applied, to the work environment, but whatever techniques can be used, obviously, for other environment as well.
Ready?! Let’s go!
Do you know exactly which are your strengths and weaknesses? Sure?
And again, do you know which opportunities may arise exploiting your strengths?
And to which threats you are exposed due to your weaknesses?
Well, if you need a technique that helps you arranging and organizing your ideas in that way, here there’s the most used: the SWOT! Yes, a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats).
Start with the first quadrant top left: your strengths.
Answer the following questions:
- What do you do well?
- What unique resources can you draw on?
- What do others see as your strengths?
In short, your most valuable characteristics/attributes/attitudes!
To help you focus on that, think when in the past you solved easily a particular situation or problem, where the others did not succeed.
Or, again, if there are things you are able to do without struggling as the others do. Often, in those situations, you find yourself surprised when the others tell you: “What? Already finished? How did you do so quickly?”
Ok, now it’s time to face your weaknesses. Do this with the utmost honesty you can.
Answer to the following questions:
- What could you improve?
- Where do you have fewer resources than others?
- What are others likely to see as weakness?
Think to the things that do not love, activities that make you spend a lot of time or resources than the others. What limits you, approaching to your job.
Well done, it’s time to wear the positive hat, the yellow one: do you remember De Bono and his six thinking hats technique? In this post I explained how to use that technique to identify risks in a project.
Now, list the opportunities that could arise if only you could steer toward the right direction, the explosive power of your strengths.
Answer to these questions:
- What good opportunities are open to you?
- What trends could you take advantage of?
- How can you turn your strengths into opportunities?
Try to report things that are specific, concrete, measurable, obviously achievable in a time frame significantly limited. You must set SMART objectives.
Oh, you don’t know what the acronym SMART stands for. Well, take a look to what says my friend Wikipedia.
Ok, now we are near to the end, only the last quadrant is missing: threats.
Answer to these questions:
- What trends could harm you?
- What is your competition doing more/better than you?
- What threats do your weaknesses expose you to?
Look at your weaknesses, how bad they are? Are they really so limiting? Do really they could have a huge impact on your objectives? If they don’t, ignore them.
If yes, instead, you should work on them or, at least, to the those that are the most negatively impactful,
Attention, think seriously and honestly to the things above but remember, you must focus mainly on your strengths. Do you know any champion that daily tries to address his weaknesses instead to improve his best qualities and capabilities?
Are you really interested in perk up your weaknesses?
It is not a matter of being a professional that is quite good doing everything, it’s a matter of being a passionate professional perfectly able to do the things s/he loves most!
Talent joins attitudes, habits, mental schemes, thoughts, past experiences.
A unique way to be for everyone of us. Find your talent, be committed to it and persevere. The rest is a matter of training! Be patient and faithful.
This is the first post of a small series, in the next we will discuss about some other techniques that help to define which objectives we want to achieve, in which time frame and how we can remove any impediments.
This sounds familiar to me, isn’t it?