>Today I sat back and reflected on the last seven parts of this series. I have received some incredible feedback over the past two weeks. What I want to make sure is that I bring things full circle, that our take away is complete, and not lacking. I’m not here to preach or stand on some soap box rambling about “the complexities of relationships”; I desire to explore with you the things that make each of us who we are today.
Our circumstances don’t have to dictate our futures. You choose to be a testimony or a victim. You choose to be a leader or a follower; you choose to take counsel from those who are where you want to be, or you take the rocky roads and try to figure it out yourself. You choose to change for the better so that you can play an intricate part in a loving relationship, or you walk around professing to be “great the way I am” or ‘damaged goods’. I’m not sure which of those two are worse!
We don’t need to walk around with invisible signs on us that say, “I’ve been hurt” or “I have trust issues”.
In order to have healthy relationships both personal and professional we must look at ourselves first, not the other person…start with self. What are you really ‘bringing to the table’ and in what areas do you fall short of a ‘full deck’? What things about you do you acknowledge need changing, improving, or tweaking? What things are you adamant that don’t need adjusting? Reflect on the strengths and weaknesses you notice about yourself and then consider what your love ones see as your strengths and weaknesses. Have you ever sat down and written a list of your strengths and weaknesses? Have you ever included what loved ones had to say?
Those of you who know me, or at least spent two minutes reading my blog profile know that I am a Business Consultant; so it should not surprise you that I would find a way to sprinkle in business concepts into this series. A SWOT Analysis is a process performed in business to help an organization determine their Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Strengths and Weaknesses may be easy enough for me not to have to elaborate, but let me briefly explain the Opportunities and Threats, and then explain how all of this ties in to today’s post and the series as a whole.
Opportunities are those things, areas, concepts that work as an advantage for the organization; what gives them that competitive advantage over another company, and potentially elevates them to levels of long-term success. Opportunities can also be broken down by sub-divisions and departments within the organization.
Threats seems easy enough to figure out. Threats are all the possible ways the organization can mess up, lose or fail to gain a competitive advantage; all of the possible risks that could ultimately lead to the demise of a project, division, department, account, or the company as a whole.
PERSONAL SWOT ANALYSIS
This segment of the series we will draft our own SWOT Analysis and look at our personal Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities (for improvement, success personally and professionally, etc) and the Threats that put us at risk of not reaching our goals, overcoming fears and other obstacles, and having poor relationships with others, etc.
Here’s a quick example using one characteristic or trait in each category:
Natasha’s SWOT Analysis
STRENGTHS: “get it done right” person
OPPORTUNITIES: being mentored by great business and civic leaders
THREATS: my fear of failing could cause me not to act
The idea is to have several things in each category. Shoot for 10-20. Don’t worry if you have more or less. Allow yourself to let things flow from you. The moment you get out of your way and out of your head you will experience a surge of information flow!
Once we complete our Personal SWOT Analysis we need to step outside of our comfort zone and share it with others that we love and care for, and who love and care for us. This person or persons must also be objective, willing to be open and honest with you without fear or concern of reprisal; and you must be open for healthy dialogue and analysis. Because once you finish sharing, they are to provide you an analysis of what they see as your SWOT. See how many traits and areas that you all agree, and be sure to rationally, calmly, and lovingly discuss those traits and areas where you disagree. It should be interesting what you discover.
Now wait a minute…stop rolling your eyes and sucking your teeth. Don’t give up before you even get started. The only way you can effectively perform a SWOT Analysis is to have other people participating and providing healthy, grounded, well-thought out feedback. You see yourself from one angle and point of view, while friends and family see you from varying angles and viewpoints. The only way to see and appreciate the whole picture is to look at it from different angles. You have to step back, to either side, turn slowly, then quickly, look at it standing then sitting, then in a prone position. You have to look at it from below and up high.
If performing this exercise is too stressful, I want you to ask yourself “why?”
We’re talking about growth through healing, growth through exploration, growth through experience, growth through proper nourishment.
The goal is to leverage our strengths, strengthen our weaknesses, increase and take full advantage of our opportunities, and reduce and control our threats so that they don’t overpower (and eventually rule) us.
How many of you plan to create your Personal SWOT Analysis? How many of you will go a step farther and perform the analysis with one or more loved ones? How many of you will then share with me how things played out, how it felt, and what you learned about yourself and how others truly view you?
This exercise can be completed and results shared anytime between today and next week, preferably next Monday. I’m excited about this exercise and can’t wait to share my analysis and to receive feedback about yours.
Have fun, dig deep, want more, and dream big!
Copyright 2010. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.