Personal development should be a part of our every-day lives. By continuing to grow and learn throughout our lives, we find greater meaning and satisfaction in our personal lives and in our work. The people who do best in the business world don’t sit back and wait for success to come to them. They create opportunities for themselves by continually investing in their personal development.
Max Dupree, an American writer and business man, said it so well, when he said, “We cannot become what we want by remaining where we are”.
But knowing where to begin can be a tough challenge, because we humans aren’t very good at assessing ourselves. The most confident among us tend to be blind to our own weaknesses, and the most self-deprecating often fail to see their own strengths. Studies have shown that business leaders routinely overestimate their abilities to communicate their vision and make tough calls. They also underestimate their ability to inspire the people around them and mentor young talent.
Self-awareness is a skill that is incredibly difficult to master, and it doesn’t come naturally to most people. As a result, it can be very difficult to assess the best path forward for personal development. Setting aside your personal judgement and getting a clear perspective on your own abilities is the first step to gaining the necessary skills to become a great leader.
This is where personal assessments can be incredibly helpful. Professionally administered employee assessments allow you to set aside your interpretation of yourself for a moment and get an unbiased outside perspective on your strengths and weaknesses. Unlike feedback from bosses, mentors, or friends, professional assessments have no angle or motive, so you can trust the information you receive as completely transparent.
A personal assessment is a way to hold a mirror up to yourself and check your self-awareness. You might learn that you’re actually much better at making tough decisions than you thought, or you might learn that you’re feeling disengaged at your job because it doesn’t align with the values you find most important in life.
Armed with a clear, unbiased personal assessment, you can recalibrate your self-awareness and create goals for personal development that are reasonable, timely, and most likely to help you succeed. Rather than going with your gut (which study after study shows is incredibly unreliable), you can take a strategic approach to your professional development that focuses on minimizing your weaknesses and harnessing the full potential of your strengths.