Leaning Into Who You Are

Woman smiling while leaning towards the cameraAt any social function, the first question you are likely asked after introducing yourself is, “What do you do?”  Your response probably begins with a job title followed by some semblance of your job description.  When we consider our role within our organization, it’s the box we understand best.  But if what you “do” is the only value you have to the organization, you better start updating that resume.  Doers can be replaced.  The real question is not, “What do you do for your organization?” but rather, “Who are you to your organization?”

How do you answer this question for yourself?

Use personality assessments.

Notice I said “assessments” – as in more than one.  No one assessment can tell you exactly who you are; but an array of them can begin to paint a fairly accurate picture of the real you.  At Suasion, we use Strengths Finder, Myers Briggs and DISC.  After assembling your results, develop a summary list, then ask your staff to highlight the statements they feel are most true of you.

Consider what gaps you fill.

There are certain functions in an organization that are filled by personalities, not job descriptions.  Are you the encourager who motivates the team, the counselor who advises others on handling difficulties, or the comedian who adds levity to stressful times?

Ask your team.

While we often think we know ourselves really well, sometimes our true selves are only revealed in the reflection of other’s mirrors.  This is the value of 360 degree feedback.  Regardless of what you think about yourself, the value of your “who-ness” to your organization is based primarily on others’ perceptions of you.

Understand your role when times are tough.

Staff cuts, decreased funding, urgent deadlines, crises – there’s no better time to see the real you than when the pressure is on.  During these times, job titles matter less and character and personality are revealed.  What role do you play when challenges arise?

Knowing who you are in your organization will help you identify ways that you uniquely can contribute to the mission.  Therein lies the real value of you.  So learn it and lean into it!

For more information on discovering your who-ness or on conducting and using personality assessments to improve the effectiveness of your team, contact me Victoria@suasion.us.

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