Tips for understanding yourself

In this article we shall look at various tips to help you understand yourself better and be more productive and effective.
The need
An MBA entrance interview lays a lot of emphasis on your career plans, your interests & hobbies, your strengths/weaknesses, hobbies & interests etc. Knowing yourself will help you to get clear insights with respect to these various dimensions. Further, a management program prepares you for a career where you are required to manage resources efficiently. Knowing yourself will give you valuable insights into your aptitude for managing others. It will allow you to understand how you’re perceived by others, why they respond in that way and how to get the best from them!
Developing self-awareness
Awareness about self is not a sudden one-time enlightenment; it will develop over a period of time with a conscious concentrated effort. It is suggested that you reflect on situations in your personal/professional lives and the outcomes of these events. Keep a journal where you can document critical aspects of your experiences. Analyse your progress towards your goals; compare actual results with your expectations.
Practicing self-management
It is not enough to be just aware of your strengths & weaknesses. You need to know when to reinforce strengths and avoid situations which bring forth your weaknesses. Situation based conditioning will enhance self-management and bring out the best in you!
Using emotional intelligence (EI)
EI is the ability to monitor and work with your and others’ emotions. It is measured in EQ which is the emotional equivalent of IQ. EI has two aspects: inward facing and outward facing. Inward facing deals with your emotional self-awareness and your ability to manage your own emotions. Outward facing deals with your degree of empathy, or awareness of others’ emotions. Successful application of EI implies that:-
  • You are open to the ideas of others and can build and mend relationships with others.
  • You are aware of your feelings and act accordingly, articulating ideas so that others can understand them.
Applying assertiveness
Asserting yourself as and when the situation demands, is a huge positive and a desirable trait. The following can serve as building blocks to help you evolve as a more assertive person:
  • Make the decision to positively assert yourself.
  • Aim for open and honest communication.
  • Listen actively.
  • Agree to disagree.
  • Avoid guilt trips.
  • Stay calm.
  • Take a problem-solving approach to conflict.
  • Practise assertiveness.
  • Listen attentively and make notes of the information provided.
  • Divide the task into bundle of activities so that the whole team can work together (plan a work breakdown structure).
  • Stay focused on the goal and remember team working skills are being tested.
  • Try to create an environment where communicating with team mates, taking reasonable risks and actions is possible.