Contrary to popular belief, a person does not become a leader simply by stepping into a position that he or she has been given. The people under their supervision may feel obliged to fall in line at first, but for a leader to truly gain and command respect, they must first demonstrate their proficiency in several areas. They must be effective communicators, know how to motivate and uplift others, be adept at making tough decisions, and more.
However, few people are equipped to be the leaders that their people need or expect them to be right from the start. That is why self-assessment or self-evaluation is an important skill that every leader—aspiring or otherwise—must learn how to master. It refers to the ability to accurately, honestly, and continuously examine yourself, your work, your abilities, your skills, and your weaknesses.
Why Self-Assessment is Important
In short, a self-assessment allows you to have a frank conversation with yourself about how you’re doing in the role that you now occupy. It enables you to self-diagnose potential gaps in your performance and come up with meaningful ways to address these deficiencies. As such, it can inspire personal growth and development without someone else’s opinion and biases clouding your view. Here are other reasons why it’s so important to do:
It Gives You More Confidence
Self-assessment can help you become a more assured leader. The process of self-evaluation requires careful examination of your strengths and weaknesses. Through it, you can gain a deeper understanding of your skills and capabilities. Gaining this knowledge can help solidify your view of yourself, making you more confident in what you can do and reducing feelings of work-related fear and anxiety. You’ll know, for certain, exactly which challenges you can take head-on.
It Helps You to Stay on Track
Self-assessment gives you the power to quickly self-correct whenever you find yourself veering off-course, whether it’s from a personal goal, a skill you that you’ve been honing, or an objective that you and your team have been working towards.
It Provides Opportunities for Career Growth
Self-assessment also comes in handy for those who wish to switch career paths or are looking to sign up for continuing education. It allows you to select an occupation or program that is best suited to your strengths. This prevents you from wasting time, money, and precious resources on pursuits that ultimately will not benefit you in the long run.
It Helps You Get the Guidance You Need
Self-assessment can provide useful direction when it comes to choosing a coach or mentor that will best fit your situation and career needs. Linking up with someone who has more experience provides you with valuable growth and networking opportunities, which can be particularly advantageous when you feel that your career is at a standstill.
It Keeps You Motivated
For leaders who feel that they may be losing their drive or passion for their work, an honest and sincere self-assessment may help remind them of their purpose or why they love their job. It can kickstart motivations that have gone dormant while also instantly boosting morale.
How to Perform a Self-Assessment
Performing a self-assessment is easy. You’ll only need a pen and a piece of paper, or a blank document on your computer.
First, write down your job description, and be as detailed as possible. Below that, write down everything that you do at work and make note of any differences. Ask yourself: are you fulfilling all of the responsibilities that are expected of you? Do you do anything else that isn’t included in your job description?
Next, make a list of all of your skills. Chances are, many of the skills that you make use of in your personal life also make their way into your professional life.
After that, make a list of your strengths and weaknesses. Be as honest with yourself as possible. It’s a good idea to ask yourself specific, relevant, and clear questions about what, how, and why you succeeded at some things and failed at others.
The final portion of your self-assessment should list all of your interests. Think about what inspires you about your job and what keeps you coming to work every day.
Self-assessment doesn’t just help you improve in the present. When done regularly, it can help you overcome any professional challenges that may come your way. After this activity, you should have been able to paint a clear and objective picture of yourself. You’ll know the areas where you’re excelling in, as well as the ones where you’re currently lacking.
From here, you can develop a detailed action plan on how to improve yourself, enhance your skillset, and become a better leader. Write down a list of clear objectives to target and give yourself a reasonable timeframe in which to accomplish them. You can look back on this document after that timeframe has passed and see how well you did. Good luck!
Get in touch with Justine Maree Cox today if you need help on how to start your self-assessment.