Are you hoping to receive a card from your loved-one on Feb 14th?
We all need confirmation that we are loved and appreciated by those around us, not just from our lover on Valentine’s Day, but throughout our relationships at home and at work.
Self-awareness is essential to our professional and personal development and yet we all struggle to be objective when it comes to our own personality. While true love may be blind to our faults and foibles, the chances are that our friends and colleagues are not quite so accepting.
Do you ever wonder how people refer to you when you are not around? Do you know if your own view of your strengths and the challenges you face matches the way others see you? Perhaps Valentine’s Day is a good time to find out. Ask them!
Go gently here; this is tricky territory. Feedback from friends, family or from the people we work with is not always easy to hear. People close to you might be critical of something you thought you were doing well, or ask you to do more of something you find difficult. They will applaud your strengths but they will also point out your flaws. And that is exactly the point because it is by becoming aware of these ‘blind spots’ that we grow our self-awareness.
So try this: Choose an appropriate moment to ask friends or colleagues for feedback. Ask them to be truthful and focus on the future (what could I do better?) rather than the past (what did I do wrong?). Avoid the temptation to defend against what you might see as criticism by justifying your own behaviour but do ask them to clarify and expand on what they have said with specific examples to make sure you have understood. Write it down so you can reflect on it later.
A declaration of true love is a wonderful thing. Honest feed back from people we know and trust is also valuable because it helps us to see ourselves more clearly and to build closer, more productive relationships in the long term.