Sometimes your behaviors support you and sometimes they do not. The key is to identify the supporting behaviors or opportunities so that you can use them more and to identify the behaviors that are damaging or the threats so that you can learn to prevent them. When you pay close attention to your behaviors you can learn what causes certain behaviors and what is caused by those behaviors. In terms of emotional intelligence I would say that being self-aware is what leads you to exhibiting self-control. And feeling motivated (or not) can lead to opportunities or threats to your career and image too.

How do you know? When you receive a review or a performance appraisal, where are your highest marks? Where are your lowest marks? A quick thought about your lowest marks, do not DWELL on them. So many of us (me too), have this tendency to look at reviews and appraisals, gloss over the great comments and spend hours obsessing over the ‘could use improvement’ area. Even on a stellar review. STOP IT!

Another area to consider is the feedback you receive from others. These are the comments or compliments you receive from individuals at work. How do they perceive you? What do they say about your work and the way in which you accomplish your work? What do they say about the way in which you interact with others?

Here is what I would like you to consider. Take some time when you can think quietly and to yourself. (Unless you are an extravert in which case you may want some background sounds or other stimulation and you may want to think out loud.) Review the past year and even more if necessary. Think about what you consider to be events or work where you wish the outcome had been different and think about events or work where you are pleased with the outcome. Jot down some notes about each. Now review each with an eye for who you are, your personality, your way of handling conflict, your emotional intelligence, your professional brand or image, dealing with difficult people and your communication style. Make some notes about how each of these areas either supported your outcome or detracted from your outcome.

This is definitely NOT a quick exercise. This is something that you may want to work on in multiple sessions over a period of time. It may be two weeks; it could even be a month or more. How will you know when you are finished? When you stop thinking of examples and when you have had a chance to really take a deep look at each of your examples. This really calls for you to be very open and honest with yourself.

What do you do next? Next you dig deeper. You look at your examples and consider what led you to behave in either a positive or negative way. Your goal is to encourage yourself toward the positive and mitigate yourself away from the negative.

Don’t worry; we will work on this together in the near future.

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