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Self-reflection Can Help You Showcase Who You Are

Tuesday, April 26, 2016 | 12:00 AM

The next time you step onto an elevator and someone asks, “Tell me about yourself,” you can be prepared with a quick, succinct answer if you have practiced some self-reflection. Self-reflection is the process of examining and analyzing your thoughts and actions and the impact of your personal values, beliefs, styles of communication and experiences. Self-reflection is a tool that can be used to develop a deeper understanding of who you are, and can influence and determine your learning, interactions with others and your leadership style. Introspection can improve your judgment and help you identify opportunities for both your personal growth and your professional development.

Professional self-evaluation increases your value and place within an organization and is an essential first step toward maximizing management and leadership skills. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses by completing a professional self-evaluation can help you stand out as an effective leader or manager. Reflecting can help you develop the skills of decision-making, listening and communication, problem-solving and analysis, strategic thinking and evaluation — all leadership qualities that employers desire most when interviewing potential candidates.

Becoming more insightful about yourself can also help you become more focused and thoughtful about your work and thereby more creative and productive, more sociable with your colleagues, and more adaptable to change in your work environment. Professional self-evaluation can also aid in stress management and in the motivation of yourself and others.

In order to be most effective, self-reflection must be an active and ongoing thought process. A variety of techniques can be helpful in your journey of self-reflection, including journaling and writing, observing yourself and others, meditation, coaching/mentoring, professional assessment questionnaires, inspirational reading and learning, and feedback from your peers.

Journaling and writing might be one of the easiest exercises in the self-evaluation process. Topics you might address include: your personality traits, physical attributes, family history, hobbies and passions, hopes and aspirations, education, career path, jobs and titles, talents and awards and affiliations. For deeper reflection in regards to your career path, jot down positive work situations where you did a task well or were commended; negative work situations such as a mistake you made and how you corrected it; or work-related tasks such as a report or presentation and how it made you feel to complete it. This thinking process might help you become more aware of yourself and how you react to certain situations, helping you feel more self-confident and preparing you for the next step toward achievement and success.

The Value of Self-reflection

Knowing who you are through the practice of self-evaluation may be all you need for career success. Imagine stepping into an elevator again and having someone ask you who you are and what you do. Knowing what to say in an elevator pitch can showcase your talents and put you on the right career path — or even expand your career opportunities. The “elevator pitch” or “elevator speech” is a short, pre-prepared persuasive summary that explains what you are all about, what your job title is and what your organization (or product or idea) does. A good elevator pitch should last the length of a 20- to 30-second elevator ride, hence the name. If you are prepared after thoughtful self-reflection, your answer will be brief and to the point and spark interest in who you are and what your goals are.

If you are thinking about pursuing a Master of Business Administration degree, an online MBA program probably will offer courses that cover communication skills, leadership development, professional self-evaluation and how to create an elevator pitch. The business knowledge and skillsets you can learn in an MBA program can help you continue developing in the corporate world, as well as in your personal relationships, well into the future.

Learn about University of Texas Rio Grande Valley online MBA program.


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