How do you translate who you think you are, your identity, into your reputation? How much do you believe that if you become more self-aware of who you are then you would be able to learn to develop those skills that will help you evolve on the career ladder?

Based on three decades of validated research the Socioanalytic theory (Robert HOGAN – American Psyc) argues that social skill is the key to career success. In other words, one can translate his/her identity into reputation which then becomes consistent to his/her identity. Identity is who you think you are, while reputation is who others think you are. One can increase the degree of self-awareness through personality assessments that increase the understanding of how one impacts others.

One example: I use Hogan Potential Report (HPI) to coach leaders who:

  • need to learn to confront poor performers (they do it too much or too little);
  • need to enforce standards of performance (they do it too rough, or too weak);
  • are perceived as hard-nosed and tough;
  • behave too punchy about their agendas to get their own ways;

and the coaching & development recommendations are:

  • maintain 2 pieces of positive feedback for each negative one;
  • let their staff know they understand that mistakes happen and that they will support them through tough times;
  • think about how their actions affect others before making a decision;

As a leader always remember that just because people rarely comment on your performance doesn’t mean that it is necessarily satisfactory, so solicit feedback for your own self-improvement.

Some leaders enjoy pointing out employee shortcomings and look for opportunities to do so. Such behaviour is hard on team morale and individual motivation. When giving constructive criticism or negative feedback, do so in private, never in public.

Part of being a leader involves accepting responsibility for problems that arise but also allow others to be responsible for solving problems as part of their development. Understand that some battles are not worth fighting and focus your energy elsewhere for a  more consistent impact.

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