7 Steps To Developing Personal Power

Mar 2 10:13 2009 Andrew Cox Print This Article

The most successful people are those who know who they are. They know that each of us is made up of three selves. Each of us is first, the person we think we are - our self concept; second, the person we want others to think we are - our mask; and third, the person others think we are - our perceived self. These can be three very different people. Successful people know that, and work hard to closely align their three selves.

The most successful people are those who know who they are. They know that each of us is made up of three selves. Each of us is first,Guest Posting the person we think we are - our self concept; second, the person we want others to think we are - our mask; and third, the person others think we are - our perceived self. These can be three very different people. Successful people know that, and work hard to closely align their three selves.

When all three selves are closely aligned, a tremendous amount of personal power is generated. To the extent that the three selves are far apart, potential never becomes power - it's wasted - in sales, in relationships, in careers. How can we have clarity in our relationships with others if we don't have clarity in who we are?

Remember the movie "Dirty Harry?" When Clint Eastwood's character, Harry, describes someone as a "legend in their own mind?" It was a funny line in the movie - not so funny in real life. We all know at least one "legend in their own mind" kind of person. They are people who don't know who they are, on any level - but they think they do.

I have a client who sees himself as kind, warm, caring, a good listener and particularly skilled at problem solving. He couldn't understand why he had such high turnover in the high tech software development company where he is CEO. He was shocked to find out, after going through an assessment and 360 degree process, that others saw him as highly controlling, a poor listener, a person you couldn't discuss a problem with without his telling you exactly how to fix it, and a very domineering boss. Quite a gap between what he thought others thought of him and what he thought of himself. Did he change to be more like what he thought others saw? Yes and no. What he did do was take the description of how others saw him and how he saw himself, shared it with the group, and used that knowledge to better understand the effect he had on people - and the effect they had on him. His comfort zone with his employees went up, as did their comfort zone with him - and the differences in perceptions actually became a source of humor in their relationships. His personal power went way up - he took the time and effort to identify his three selves. People respect that.

Ignorance may be bliss, but it can be fatal in business and personal relationships. And it doesn't have to be. The acquisition of knowledge of who you are and how you impact others is like money in the bank - particularly in leadership roles, where engaging peers, teams, partners, prospects, bosses and subordinates in relationships is the heart and soul of success.

So how does one go about getting this priceless information about themselves so they can apply it to their lives, their careers and their interpersonal relationships?

Here's are seven steps to follow on the path to greater effectiveness:

Step 1 - Most important. You gotta want the information. This sounds like a real no-brainer, but for many people self discovery is really scary - because they believe they already know themselves quite well, (In my experience, the people that feel the most positive about already knowing themselves are the ones who would benefit the most from knowing more.) The other reason people resist this process is the implication that they will have to change, and they either don't want to, or don't feel the need. For some people, knowledge is definitely not power - particularly when it applies to them.

Step 2 - Enlist the help of professionals and people you trust. Consider your group your own Mastermind group, dedicated to helping you get to know yourself better. Be sure to offer them your help in their own process of discovery. Get people who have worked with you and observed and interacted with you in a variety of settings.

Step 3 - Seek out top people in your career area and ask them what they feel are the top requirements in Behaviors, Attitudes and Personal Skills for success in your field. You're not asking this group about you, you're asking them about your job. Offer to share the responses about the job with the experts. Treat it as a survey.

Step 4 - Take a validated, highly regarded assessment of your Behaviors, Motivators and Personal Skills. Make special note of those areas where the assessment results and your own opinion differ. Step 5 - Share your assessment results with your Mastermind group and get their feedback - particularly in the areas where you disagree with the results. Be prepared to be surprised at how their perceptions and opinions may differ from your own. This can be tough, but it is where learning about the alignment of your three selves happens.

Step 6 - Compare your assessment results with the Behavior, Motivator and Personal Skill requirements obtained from the experts in your career area. This is where you match your newly acquired information on yourself with key job and career requirements.

Step 7 - Set a plan to build on strengths and improve in critical areas of Behaviors, Motivators and Personal Skills. In developing the plan look for the biggest differences between your three selves. Trust me, you'll know where you need to spend time to gain alignment.

You now have developed priceless information that you can use every day to be more effective in your relationships and in your career. Keep your plan simple - and use the information gained to help guide your Personal Growth. I guarantee if you follow this process you will have gained a competitive advantage that will end up increasing your personal power.

Don't wait - start today.

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About Article Author

Andrew Cox
Andrew Cox

Andy Cox helps individuals, teams and organizations identify and develop their Multipliers of Success - the unique set of Behaviors, Motivators and Personal Skills each client needs for success. Contact Andy at acox@consultgroup.com Visit his website for information on how he can help you discover and develop your Multipliers of Success. His website address is http://www.coxconsultgroup.com

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