- Do you value yourself and what you’re good at, or do you dismiss it as unimportant just because you find it easy?
- Do you ever judge others because they struggle with things that come naturally to you?
- Or, do you sometimes feel inadequate when you compare yourself to others?
My friend and I are about the same height and dress size so when we were shopping at the weekend, we tried things on and then swapped to see who looked best in what. It was amazing how we looked fantastic in different things; one dress that made her look incredible had the opposite effect on me and vice versa.
Over coffee we were chatting about what she’s naturally good at: being gregarious, chatting to everyone to make them feel included and valued, getting people’s buy-in… No surprises here: she’s a high powered PR. I on the other hand love running an intimate workshop, am a natural teacher and find it easy to politely say no to people. Then we looked at what we weren’t so good at: saying no to people is, she says, one of her biggest challenges and regularly gets her into hot water; being in large social situations is one of my biggest challenges.
What we noticed is that while we seem very similar, we’re actually very different. Different styles of outfit suit us. Different styles of working do, too.
- Notice what you do well. Make a list (or a mind map) of all the things you naturally (or have learned to) do well.
- Consider the value that those things bring. (For example my friend’s ability to involve people helps everyone feel engaged, so when a project hits a rough patch, they all pull together and the project is more likely to succeed—this has social and business benefits and could probably even be measured in monetary terms.) Get really clear on the value each of your skills, talents or tendencies bring and give yourself some recognition. Take some time to value yourself.
- Notice what others do well (on your team, or in your social circle) and give them recognition. Take time to value them.
- Watch your assumptions: just because you find something easy doesn’t mean everyone does. Maybe one of your team might benefit from some support in these areas.
- Watch your expectations—of yourself and others—we can’t all be good at everything, so cut everyone some slack and, if you can, assign people to things they naturally do well so you get best out of everyone. (There are lots of personality profiling tools you could employ to help people understand each other better, or you could just instigate an open conversation about the topic.)