Last Thursday afternoon Intelligent Inker Emma ventured out of the office to attend Professionelle’s interactive, half day “Self-Insight for Success” workshop. In this intensive workshop they delved deeply into how Self-insight plays a huge role in career success. At Professionelle they believe self-insight is the secret sauce of many successful women’s lives, positively impacting relationships, general health and wellbeing and of course careers. In this workshop Galia BarHava-Monteith (Executive coach and Founding Trustee of Professionelle) and Emily Turnbull (Professionelle Trustee and creative force behind some of Professionelle’s events) delved into how to unlock the best possible version of yourself and how to harness it on a daily basis. They covered topics such as positive psychology, signature strengths, psychometric testing (understanding yourself and how others relate to you), tangible approaches, techniques to enhance your own self-insight on a daily basis and how to help others achieve greater self-insight. Emma found this intimate and highly reflective workshop to be both informative and enlightening. It was a valuable workshop catered to professionals at all stages of their careers. It was particularly valuable for Emma as she is a graduate fresh out of university who is just in the developing stages of her career.
A lot of content was covered in that afternoon of learning but here are some nuggets of wisdom. For instance all professional women should reflect and look inwards, as much as they look outwards on others. The best metaphor for self-insight is that it is like an iceberg because on the surface you have your conscious self that is known to yourselves and others. But then there is your unconscious self that lies deep beneath the surface. Often what lies beneath the surface is much bigger and complex than you realise. It is largely what defines you and makes you unique. What lies beneath the surface is also what commonly causes personality clashes with other people. However, such complexity and difference isn’t always a bad thing.
Although many people find it scary to delve into the layers of themselves, we are in the end social animals, and it is important to understand ourselves in order for others to understand us. It is particularly common for professional New Zealand women to not want to over emphasis their strengths. But we can develop an understanding of ourselves through the use of assessment tools. One valuable assessment tool is writing out one’s strengths, values and motivations. Simply writing things down can help to find clarity during bad times and understanding during good times. Once you do this then you can reflect on whether you overuse one strength over the others. If you do then you should make a personal goal to utilise more of your other strengths. It’s also important to understand the difference between your strengths and your values, as they are very different things. Then you should consider how they affect each other. It is good practice to reflect positively and constructively on your strengths because you will become the story you tell yourself.
Another important thing to consider, as a professional, is that everyone has a different path to success. No two people’s journey to success are the same, one person’s route to success may not be right for another because of their differing strengths, values and motivations. It’s also important to set boundaries at work to protect yourself from work-life conflict. Also you should always be kind to yourself and remember that your own wellbeing is a priority. It’s common for professional women, especially working mums, to forget to make themselves a priority. When really you shouldn’t feel bad for saying no every once in a while. You’re not super woman and it is not healthy to always feel tired. As human beings sometimes we forget that we don’t live to work, we work to live. Although we can’t always control our situation, we can change ourselves and our reactions to our situations. Following on, make sure you understand what your values are and set boundaries to protect them. But in all situations listen to your gut. If something feels wrong, it’s probably right.