A few years ago, Henrieta and I were working through a business development program. The program consisted of 10 steps to create a dream business. One of the steps was around clarifying and claiming our gifts. This step had an assignment to email friends, family, business associates, and clients, whom you respect and trust, and ask them for personal feedback.
I sent an email to 15 people and asked them the following questions: What are several characteristics that described me, what they see as my talents and abilities, what kind of energy do I bring when I walk into a room, what they appreciate me for, what am I good at, and any other distinguishing features that I have. The essence of this assignment was to gather authentic and honest insights about me.
Examining Insights is a path to a better understanding of a person, project, or thing. Constructive Insights are a great tool for individuals and teams to use when working towards moving forward and managing change. Insights can be a guide for answering the “what is” and “what’s next?”.
In The Art of Insight, authors Charles Kiefer and Malcolm Constable wrote; “insights result in a dramatically improved understanding of a situation or problem such that we see things more deeply and more accurately than before.” Reading this, I realize how powerful insights can be.
It was hard for me to do this assignment. This activity was way out of my comfort zone. I thought that I had a good understanding of who I am, how I work, and what directions I wanted to go in my life. I was nervous would be said about me.
What I found out was that there was more to me than I realized. In doing the assignment I found that by getting the insights of those I trusted, there were layers of myself that I did not acknowledge and/or appreciate. Getting different perspectives gave more value to the whole, and moved me out of the proverbial box that I was keeping myself in.
How do we find our insights? Prayer, reflection, writing down everything you feel and think around the subject, and asking others for their input, as I did are some of the ways to find insights.
It’s not always easy to examine our insights. Sometimes they are good and rewarding and sometimes they show problems, weakness, and excess. The key to this assignment, and to any time that we dive into our insights, is what we choose to do with them. How can we use them to acknowledge our value and/or spur positive change?
I made two lists from the responses that I received. One list was words, traits, and insights that I wanted to embrace and acknowledge. The second list was insights that I wanted to improve, discard, and/or change. With each item on the improve and/or change lists I made an action plan designed to move towards desired results. I have yet to complete all the action plans on the second list, I accept this with Grace. I am and always will be a work in progress.
What are you currently working on or towards in your life?
What are some of the insights that you have about this?
Who might you ask for their input and insights?
Where will you go with the information that you have gathered? What is your now what??