At a yoga class, my teacher asked us to consider the following question during our practice — “what gifts do you offer to the world?”
I resisted the urge to open my eyes and look around the room to see if anyone else was puzzled by the question and instead tried to focus my mind on answering it. What gifts do I give to my workplace, my family, my friends, my community?
Think about it for a moment for yourself: What are your personal gifts?
A question for the workplace
It’s a great question to consider at any time in your life, but particularly when preparing for a job interview or promotion as you will typically be asked to talk about yourself and describe your strengths.
Maybe it’s a question for those who know us, too. Asking for that kind of feedback takes a bit of courage, but the answers can be insightful. Other peoples’ perceptions of us can be different from our own views and, if we want to positively impress others or exercise some positive influence, then it’s helpful to know what others see.
When running leadership workshops, for example, I always suggest to managers that they ask their staff how satisfied they are with the person’s management style. Some managers feel threatened by this suggestion, but I think it’s important to remember that everything we do, whether we are the leader, peer or subordinate, involves other people.
If you’re in a leadership position, remember that, without any “followers,” there is no leadership; it’s game over. Leadership needs to be flexible and personal; one size will not fit all and finding out how satisfied others are with your style will help you adjust it and ultimately you’ll evolve into a better leader.
Even if you’re not in a leadership position, the special gifts you bring to the table will impact the team you’re in and the workplace environment. What can you bring to your employer?
Be the best you
Warren Buffet has observed, “There will never be a better you than you.” Among all of the billions of people on this planet, you are unique, you are special. You have your own personal gifts to offer to the world. So, what will you do, today, to be the best you? And how will you share that with others?
Hazel Morley is principal of Think Smart: Training and Coaching with Change in Mind. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.