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Identifying Strengths Using Reflected Best Self Essay

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Updated: Jan 15th, 2021

Introduction

To qualify as a good leader, one has to possess some skills and abilities that distinguish them from others. It is these skills and abilities that help them to effectively accomplish the tasks assigned to them as leaders. Some of these skills and abilities are innate while others have to be acquired from a learning institution (Antonio 2008). Learning helps in transforming an individual’s way of doing things permanently. Some scholars believe that the Reflected Best Self is an essential weapon to help people concentrate on their strengths other than their weaknesses. To improve one’s performance, one can involve themselves in the 360 degrees feedback program. This is very important because it can help a person unearth their areas of weaknesses. As a result, they will be able to improve their performance either in their current engagement or in the future.

Methodology

To make sure I got the best and the most reliable information, I used the 360 degrees feedback program. This method is very reliable because it provides a qualitative and substantive analysis of one’s attributes. To achieve this, I sent emails to at least 15 people who were my family and friends. I requested them to answer questions that relate to me. It is from the responses of the respondents that I came up with a table for a self-portrait.

Responses Analysis

I selected the common themes by putting all the information given by the respondents about my character and potential to face challenges. The challenges in question are those encountered at work and when socializing with friends and family members. The respondents thought that I am very careful when executing some of the mandates that are likely to have a major impact on my future. Others thought that I evaluate things critically before taking an action. Also, the respondents said that I am a person who will never engage in debates likely to result in a conflict. Following the analyses, I have found out that am a responsible person who is disciplined, soft-spoken, kind-hearted, and full of sympathy for others. After analyzing the answers that I was given, I have had a chance to re-evaluate myself in an attempt to improve my relationship with other people in society.

In the contemporary world, the way we think about ourselves is not the same way other people perceive us to be. I learned this from some of the feedback I received which was completely different from what I thought myself to be. For example, some of my colleagues and family members thought I am easily influenced by others. On the contrary, I have always believed I am influential. Furthermore, the respondents have portrayed me as a soft-spoken person who is full of sympathy for others. However, this is the opposite of what I have been regarding myself. In my opinion, I always speak out what is in my mind. Therefore, regarding me as a soft-spoken person surprised me. The perception of the respondents that I am sympathetic for others is also shocking. This is because I only provide help to those who need it and not just sympathize with anyone. Before sympathizing with one’s situation, I have to establish that it is worth doing that. The other point that flabbergasted me was the claim that is a very sensitive person. This is because I have all along been cautiously conducting myself to prevent the occurrence of mistakes that I would be liable for.

Other themes came out although I had expected them from my respondents. This is because; I already knew that I possess these characters, only that no one had come out to share them with me openly. For example, I knew all along that my relationship with other people especially my family members and friends was not questionable. The other issue that came out, which was also expected, was my ability to achieve what was expected of me whether at work or within the family. Because all along I have been working cautiously, the respondents identified that I do not blame others for my mistakes. According to some of the respondents, I take responsibility for all the repercussions of my actions. The other point they raised was that I always consult further whenever a mistake occurs. This is a point I expected since I always try to prevent a mistake from recurring.

Reflection of Best Self Portrait

This Reflected Best Self Portrait gives a reflection of others’ judgment on me through a process of comparing the responses of my respondents. All the positive things about me are tabulated as my talents, personality, beliefs, ability, and values. On the other hand, my Reflected Best Self is comprised of characteristics of an individual who is honest, trustworthy, as well as friendly. From the responses given by my friends and family members, they said that I am a person who always strives to solve a conflict by creating a win-win situation for both parties involved. While in society, these people credit me for being responsible and active.

Who am I at my best?

From the above analysis, I have realized that I am cautious while undertaking a particular task. I always make sure that I accomplish a given task in time. To add to that, I have learned from my respondents that am always ready to face new challenges in life and that I work hard to meet the set targets despite the numerous challenges on the way. We are all prone to making mistakes in life. However, my friends, family, and colleagues have indicated that am a responsible person who will never blame others for my mistakes in life. After claiming responsibility, I have been known to seek advice from others to make sure that such or similar eventuality does not recur in the future. From the responses I got and my personal experiences, I have learned that I am a person who never gives up even if I fail to meet what I had intended to achieve.

How do I define best, and how do others define best? How do I reconcile any inconsistencies between how I define best, and others define it?

Jefferson (2006) argues that the best of an individual can only be explained based on their interaction with other members of the society and the reactions whenever they are faced with problems in life. On the other hand, members of society tend to define my best according to my previous and current situations and particularly, how I have responded to various challenges that come along the way. It is believed that people know themselves better than they are known by others. There are some behaviors that a person may never reveal to others in society and are known to them alone. However, at times, we forget to shield our actions depending on the challenges facing us. It is at this point that other people get a chance to study us. It is at this time that the definition of my best can vary from the definition of other people. To reconcile these differences, I have to assume that these people who are defining my best have not had contact with me throughout my life. As a result, they do not understand my inner being as well as I do. To conclude, it is important to re-evaluate the answers given and if possible, seek more clarification where doubt arises. After going through the answers given, I can tell the differences in their definitions.

What are the commonalities and inconsistencies across the different stories?

The common ideas noted included listening skills, thoughtful, critical, responsible as well as being credible. On the other hand, the inconsistencies included being easily influenced, and sympathetic. In my opinion, some respondents gave answers that are contrasting with how I view myself. Although I may not disqualify their opinion, I consider their opinions as being a two-sided definition because it all depends on what perspective one may perceive me. Some understand me as an outgoing person who accepts situations as they are, while others argue that I keep my problems to myself. Whose feedback matters most? Why?

According to Delorese (2006), it is very important to consider all the feedback given and treat them in the same way. However, certain people need to be checked critically before one accepts their feedback. Such people may not be reliable because they may give misleading responses. For instance, it would not be appropriate to consider the opinion of a recently found friend. This is because they may not have studied a person properly and for enough time. Besides, a spouse would also not give negative points to the partner to avoid conflict. Therefore, the best feedback that matters most is the one that comes from old friends and some of the family members like brothers and sisters. These people have been with this person for a long time and are better positioned to explain the positive and the negative side of such a person. When these people are giving their feedback, they are writing to help the person keep up his good deeds or improve where they think is the weak point.

Are there any new insights gained from the RBS exercise?

It is worth stating that I have never in the past conducted the Reflected Best Self exercise. I have also never tested my capabilities using other methods and this was the first time I was carrying out a personal assessment which has proved very helpful. As a result, I can say that the “Reflected Best Self” has acted as my opener. It enabled me to understand my actions and give others a chance to analyze me. It is from this study that I have unearthed the leadership potential in me. Although it was not all people who gave positive ideas about me, it is good to know that their points are meant to help me improve on areas they had cited.

What has been reinforced about me because of the RBS?

This exercise has revealed that I possess more leadership qualities than I have previously thought. This has given me the confidence to undertake things boldly as long as I follow the laid down rules and regulations. Also, RBS has helped me explore other ways of maintaining my leadership qualities.

What are the enablers and barriers to being my best self? Personal and situational

According to Lussier (2007), an individual character is mainly shaped by members of the society and the environment he or she is in. Therefore, we can say that my enablers are: my family, the significant others, religion, as well as the environment. It was my family that took me to school where I learned about issues in life. The religious people taught me the importance of being honest, trustworthy, and at peace with others. On the other hand, society had become a major obstacle in realizing my best self. Some of the people I grew up with did not value education and therefore, it would have been easy for me to be influenced to skip classes and follow their actions.

Self Portrait

After a thorough evaluation using the two methods indicated above, I have developed a better personality that is paramount for effective and accountable leadership. They are important because I can know the extent to which I can go whenever I am at the helm of leadership. As a leader, I can accept all the people’s opinions; this means that I can withstand the criticism that may be levied against me and the congratulatory messages given to me. According to Goleman (2004), the education acquired in school helps one to gain different leadership skills. As a result, based on my understanding, I have established that a democratic type of leadership is the best because it gives people freedom of expression.

Strengths

Although I can claim at this stage that I possess all the leadership qualities, it is clear that I have not perfected in all areas. I learned this from the respondents. At first, I realized that I needed to have an understanding of the effects of my deeds. This is very motivational since it helps in avoiding haphazard actions that I may regret later on in life. Confidence is another thing that I discovered I needed to work on. More effort is needed for me to gain confidence.

Best Self Vision Statement

From the answers received, my Best Self Vision statement would be made up of a peace maker, responsible, sympathetic, and accountable. One of the things that distinguish me from many people is my ability to influence people to do their tasks and be ready to bear the consequences. As a leader, Palmisano (2008) argues that I should make sure that power is devolved to the people so that the leadership can create room for accountability.

Given my RBS analysis, what strengths and capabilities can help me tap my potential as a leader?

The respondents credited me for being accountable, critical, and responsible for my actions. Therefore, as a leader, I will apply my character of being accountable to make sure people are held accountable for all their deeds. As a leader, I would not allow people to behave irresponsibly in their work place. I will make sure that there is the discipline in all areas.

What makes me unique and what do I want my contribution to be?

Not very many leaders are accountable for their actions. Instead, they blame the junior staff for all the mess that may have taken place. This aspect of being responsible and accountable is what makes me unique from other leaders. As earlier stated, I want to make sure that people are disciplined, a factor that will help achieve other goals.

What standards will I use to define success in my professional life?

Northouse (2010) argues that leaving a good legacy after being in a particular field is the desire of many people. However, others forget this goal, and instead, the opposite happens. As a leader, I will have to compare the profits realized when I have left the company with the time I was joining. If profits will have increased, then I will have succeeded in my mission. However, if otherwise is the case, then my mission will have failed.

How will I need to organize my life to live up to these standards? What are trade-offs?

To achieve my standards, I will have to review the goals after a specific duration of time. For example, I should set targets that I think are achievable within six months. If I attain them I set another one for a year. This will help me know the areas to concentrate on more to achieve that.

One trade-off is that I will evaluate all the essentials of good leadership so that I do not impose on people things that may do them more harm than good.

Conclusion

RBS has become an important tool to test our leadership abilities. This method should be replicated on our national leaders so that we can identify those who best suit to be at the helm of our country.

Appendix

Emergent Theme Specific Statements My interpretation
Caring, Peaceful, and mediator.
  1. you are a person who likes peace.
  2. You hate quarrels that lead to fighting.
  3. You care about people and like to make everyone in a satisfactory situation.
I don’t entertain people who incite others to fight one another. People should be treated equally to make them satisfied with the judgment am going to deliver.
Critical, and accountable
  1. You always do a particular task keenly.
  2. You do not append your signature in suspicious matters.
Being critical promotes accountability. One is only sure of what he or she has done if there was a critical evaluation.
Responsible and Credible
  1. You always work hard to meet what is expected of you.
  2. You are a person who takes full responsibility for your actions instead of blaming others.
We should all work hard to meet our goals because that is the only way we can move forward. Whenever we commit an irregularity we should take full responsibility instead of blaming others.
Sympathetic
  1. You like assisting other people who are in need.
  2. You have been of great help to us especially when we lost our parents.
  3. You have never taken advantage of someone’s inability to short change him or her.
I have always believed that we are where we are because somebody came to our aid at one time. Therefore, we must help others who are in difficulties.

Reference List

Antonio, M., 2008. Leadership: the key concepts. Oxon: Routledge.

Delores, A., 2009. Leadership: The Journey Inward. New York: Hunt Publishing Company.

Goleman, D., 2004. Primal leadership: learning to lead with emotional intelligence. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Jefferson, A., 2006. Transformational leadership. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

Lussier, R., 2007. Leadership: Theory, Application, & Skill Development. Mason: Cengage Learning.

Northouse, P., 2010. Leadership: Theory and Practice. California: Sage Publications Inc.

Palmisano, D., 2008. On leadership: essential principles for success. New York: Sky Horse Publishing.

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