On the job

How to detect its defects and correct them?

You think you have clearly communicated the instructions to your employees, but the results are not there? Maybe this is a problem coming from you and not from your team. Here’s how to detect (and rectify) your faults.

The first step to getting an objective assessment of your strengths and weaknesses is to “pay close attention to what you do, what you think, what you feel,” advises career coach Pascale Landriault. She believes that in order to learn to detect your own flaws, you must also listen to the reactions of others. If every time we try to explain our sales strategy to our colleagues, for example, they don’t understand the message, identifying your problem becomes easier.

In order to improve, you have to be honest and critical of yourself. This can be difficult when your self-confidence is not made of reinforced concrete, but an introspective exercise helps build it,” says Pascale Landriault. “Analyzing our past experiences and what we’ve learned from them becomes a tool for building confidence and presenting ourselves better. At a time when we have less confidence, we go back to it to re-energize ourselves,” she advises.

While it is more difficult to make this assessment at the outset, reliable personality tests do exist. Far from psycho-pop tests, they measure personality types and thinking skills. The MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) test, for example, measures the direction of energy (introverted or extroverted), the method of gathering privileged information (feeling or intuition), decision-making (rational or sentimental) and the mode of action (judgment or perception). This test establishes 16 personality types, a variety large enough to give a more accurate picture of our situation.

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How to improve?

With a clear picture of the aspects of our work or our personality that need to be improved, we need to look for resources. If these are skills you want to develop, you can ask your boss for additional training. Demonstrating that you want to improve proves that you are invested in your work. You can also ask for coaching sessions, either with him or with a mentor. A professional coach is also an option, but it will cost about $200 per one-hour session.

As for the more personal defects, we try to put ourselves in situations where we can practice mitigating them. For example, if you’re shy, you set yourself the goal of going to a professional happy hour with me, and have a reliable person accompany you to act as your right-hand man. Impatient? You keep telling yourself to count to 10 before you answer a frustrating colleague in the same breath…

There are many ways to correct these defects, but all of them require resourcefulness, perseverance and a good dose of humility. As Pascale Landriault reminds us, the goal is not to be perfect, but to improve…

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