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close this bookManagement Self-Development - A Guide for Managers, Organisations and Institutions (ILO, 1985, 282 p.)
close this folderChapter 2. Self-assessment and planning one's own future
View the document(introduction...)
View the document2.1 The self-assessment process
View the document2.2 Our higher and lower selves
View the document2.3 Obtaining information about yourself and your performance
View the document2.4 Clarifying the questions and issues facing you
View the document2.5 A self-development plan
View the document2.6 Suggestions for further reading

2.3 Obtaining information about yourself and your performance

There are many ways of obtaining information about yourself and your performance, and it is clearly impossible to describe all of these in a short publication like this one. Four particularly useful ways have been selected and described in detail in appendices 1 to 4. They are

- feedback from other people;
- things that happen ("critical incidents");
- questionnaires for self-analysis;
- looking at the whole of your life, its themes, meaning and purpose ("biography").

You are not expected to go through each of these ways in turn. In fact, to do it like that would probably be unhelpful, as you would get worn out and bogged down. No. The point of describing a few methods is to give you a choice. We suggest that you briefly look over all the methods, and then choose one that appeals to you most. If you really want to, you can of course do more than one, but it is quite likely that you will want to come back and try another some time later.

Do not forget; these are ways of obtaining information about yourself and your performance, which is only the first part of the self-assessment process (figure 6).

After doing one of the methods, you should then ask yourself, "what is this feedback saying to me? What questions or issues are coming my way?" A method for doing this is described in each case.

It might be helpful to give a few examples of what we mean by "issues or questions" - although it is important that you realise that these are only examples. Your own might well be very different. Anyway, here are some:

- my boss: he is asking me "how committed are you to the work of this department?"

- my boss: I want to know how I can get him to let me have more freedom to take initiatives;

- my ambition in life: do I want promotion and material rewards, or a happy family life? Can I have both?

- my ability to sell things: how can I use this to best advantage?

- my poor listening skills: is there anything I can do to improve them?

- my impatience: what can I do about the fact that I get impatient, then angry, when things seem to take longer than I expected?

- my temper: I am often rude to people on the telephone; what can I do about this?

- my wife: she is asking me "is it really necessary for you to go overseas to study for 12 months?"