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Discovering Your Strengths

Improving your performance with self assessment


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Discovering Your Strengths

with Dave Crenshaw

Video: Improving your performance with self assessment

There's a saying that has been attributed to many authors, and I've found it to be true. When performance is measured, performance improves, and when it's measured and reported back, performance improves significantly. Establishing a system of reporting and measuring will help you to increase your ability consistently over time. I've already given you one way to measure your performance by using the invaluable cycle of systems, accountability, and motivation. We also want to measure how well you're performing in each of your abilities.

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Discovering Your Strengths
55m 40s Appropriate for all Jan 11, 2012 Updated Jan 03, 2013

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Join author and business coach Dave Crenshaw as he demonstrates ways to discover what you're truly best at doing and how to leverage those strengths and abilities in your professional life. This course reveals how to uncover your strengths and talents, match them to job responsibilities, and develop a path to apply those strengths at work. Set yourself up for continued success with self-assessments and the ability to invest in yourself and make continual improvements as your career grows.

This course is one of a series of five Dave Crenshaw courses based on his Invaluable teaching methodology for professional development.

Topics include:
  • Identifying gifts, loves, and skills
  • Assessing personal performance
  • Applying your strengths and talents at work
  • Making continual improvements that impact your career
Subjects:
Business Business Skills Freelancing
Author:
Dave Crenshaw

Improving your performance with self assessment

There's a saying that has been attributed to many authors, and I've found it to be true. When performance is measured, performance improves, and when it's measured and reported back, performance improves significantly. Establishing a system of reporting and measuring will help you to increase your ability consistently over time. I've already given you one way to measure your performance by using the invaluable cycle of systems, accountability, and motivation. We also want to measure how well you're performing in each of your abilities.

We've provided a worksheet called your Monthly ability chart. It includes a space for the date. I'd recommend that you do this monthly to track your results over time. Next, you'll see spaces for rating yourself in general on a scale of zero to ten in each of the areas of systems, accountability, and motivation. If you need a refresher on these areas, go back and review the video about the Invaluable Cycle. Next, you'll see rows to measure your performance for five abilities.

I'd limited your measurement to just the five most important areas, which will keep the process simple and easy to follow. Now, what abilities should we be measuring? You can measure anything related to your talents or your job responsibilities. If you need help deciding what to measure, start with your talents, which are those one, two, or three things that you identified during the talent discovery process. Then fill in the remaining spaces with a few job responsibilities that you feel are most important.

In the Target column, you'll put the number that you're striving for. Now, how do we measure this? Some things are quantifiable; they're very easy to measure. For instance, if one of my areas is sales, my target simply is my sales numbers for the month. But what if I chose teaching as one of my performance areas? I'm going to have to quantify the unquantifiable. You will measure this like we did systems, accountability, and motivation: by assigning a rating on a scale of zero to ten.

A zero would be nonperformance, five would be average, and ten would be outstanding, invaluable performance. Since we want to perform at the absolute best, that target will always be ten. The remaining columns are fairly straightforward. In the last month column, just recopy the number you put in the previous month's spreadsheet. Of course, the first time you're using the worksheet, you will just leave it blank. In the This Month column, you'll put your rating for the current month.

Finally, in the column called Change, you'll want to subtract this month's rating from last month's, and this number reflects how your performance has changed. The value of measuring your progress comes in the pattern. We want to see a trend that is upward over time. Occasionally, there will be dips where you don't do as well as the previous month, but overall, if we see the ratings rise over time, then we're going to see improved performance. Now, what about the second part of that quote I started with: when performance is measured and reported, performance improves significantly? How can we report about this? I recommend submitting this report to someone on a monthly basis.

It could be your manager or someone else. It doesn't matter, as long as you tell them you're going to send this report to them monthly because you want feedback and accountability. In the section that says This Month I will focus on, you'll choose one area of systems, accountability, or motivation that you're going to improve that month. Whatever area you choose, create an action item for yourself. For example, if you stated that you were going to improve your bookkeeping ability that month, you would write down the next step, which might be Read an article about advanced bookkeeping techniques.

Next, you'll want to process it, meaning you're going to decide what you're going to do with it, when you're going to do it, and how it will be done. If you want to learn more about how to process, please see my Time Management Fundamentals course on lynda.com. By following this system of self- assessment on a monthly basis, you'll make it much more likely that your ability improves over time, and in turn your market value increases.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Discovering Your Strengths.


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Q: This course was updated on 01/03/2012. What changed?
A: This course was retitled, streamlined, and refined throughout, resulting in a slightly shorter runtime. We also added new graphics and a new welcome movie. 
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