This report is designed to help Angela be more successful at life outside of school. The report sections cover different aspects of being successful at life and should help Angela understand the opportunities and threats that affect her success. One important focus of this report on what kinds of career environments should feel great for Angela and how she can be successful when working with others.
Quick Instructions for Angela
1) Read the report
As you read the report, note down places where it talks about the sorts of challenges you are facing right now.
2) Write down three important insights
Pick three items from the report that seem really important for your life right now. This could be because this is something that is causing you stress now. It could be a strength that would really help you cope with stress or enjoy your life more. Or it could be important to you for other reasons.
3) Write out a plan for what you can do based on your insights
Determine what actions you can take over the next month to make use of what you’ve learned about yourself. What actions can you take to reduce your stress? How might you develop your strengths? Who can you talk to? Who can help you stay on track?
Aligning her work environment and the company’s culture with her personality type is also another important consideration in finding the right job. Her personality type prefers an environment where:
Angela's natural abilities and talents, when utilized, help her to perform better and enjoy her job more. Also, her success is generally more dependent on leveraging and capitalizing on her strong points rather than focusing on her weak point - it's her strong points and natural abilities that will bring Angela job satisfaction and success.
Angela has probably already experienced something like this: When the work she does in her job or in school aligns well with her natural abilities, things start to go easier, move more smoothly, and she feels better about what she is working on or studying. The results usually come out much better.
The opposite is also true, when the work she does or the subject she is studying is not well aligned with her natural abilities, things feel more difficult, stress levels increase and results are not so good. The key here is 'alignment'.
Because most professional jobs involve several different types of work, some of the work she does may be well aligned and some may not. If she can move herself into a career path where most of the work is aligned with her natural abilities, she will be more successful and more satisfied
For maximum job satisfaction and success, her job and her work environment should align with her core values. The list below represents common core values for her personality type.
For Angela, being able to consider the diverse perspectives in the situation and talk with her manager is very empowering. She does well when she feels that her manager is authentically looking for new ideas and is interested in her opinion. Being able to deliver a flood of new ideas and the ability to jump from topic to topic can sometimes overwhelm managers who take a more methodical approach.
Angela is typically great at getting coworkers engaged with the mission and linking their passion to the goals at hand. She tends to bring in many other topics to help make her points and all the wandering around in the conversation can leave others who just want to get working frustrated.
For Angela, dancing all around related, and even distantly related issues is natural. Her ability to see how different issues are related is typically amazing. This can sometimes result in a disjointed conversation for the other person as Angela jumps from topic to topic.
Angela is typically a great speaker. While she might frequently stray from the documented presentation Angela is typically good at reading the audience and finding new ways to keep them engaged. Angela generally likes presentations that are about encouraging and motivating other people and can sometimes be frustrated when there are too many restrictions on the presentation.
Angela is probably very comfortable coming up with many options and ideas to use for goals. Her goals are likely to be very self motivating and include activities she enjoys. The part Angela may struggle with is that with all these options she may sometimes struggle to narrow it down.
Angela is typically good at talking with team members, inspiring them and getting them excited about what they are doing on the team and the future goals. Angela is often good at getting team members passionate about their jobs. This focus on excitement and future possibilities can mean that sometimes Angela is not as good at following up on all the details of team members.
Angela is likely to lead by building excitement and enthusiasm by those involved in the mission. She is probably very focused on the future and new ideas. Her focus on ideas and excitement mean that sometimes she doesn't spend as much time as needed on keeping track of details and following up.
Angela is probably good at encouraging creativity and talking to those she delegates to. She is likely to spend more time on ideas and adapting and less time worrying about small details or creating a detailed plan. For Angela, this can sometimes mean that others needing more stability are frustrated by the frequent changes.
Angela is likely very comfortable in environments with lots of flexibility and change in the schedule. Angela will probably enjoy shifting her focus many times through the day rather than sticking to rigid schedule. Angela may sometimes be so distracted by all the projects that she might not stick to schedules.
Angela is likely to be quick to come up with ideas and discuss options for addressing the feedback. Angela will probably respond well to feedback that focuses on what is going right and frames adjustments as not being personal.
“Listen-more-day” – Plan a “listen-more-day”. Reflect. Say only something when necessary. Give others time to answer and find peace in silence. Pause at least ten seconds longer than you normally would before you say something. Note what happens with the dynamics in the conversation.
Do not interrupt – For one day focus on not interrupting. Let people finish talking. Do not interrupt in the middle of an argument. Stop yourself if you accidently do it anyway. Get feedback from other people on how being interrupted affects them.
Listen to understand – Pick out a planned conversation. Listen to what the other person is saying. Practice staying attentive to his or her inputs rather than thinking of what you will say in response. Listen to the other person's point of view and describe what you heard before you allow yourself to talk about your perception and point of view.
Find peace of mind – Take lessons in meditation, breathing techniques or mindfulness. Practice. Set aside time each day or week to visit your inner world. Learn to feel comfortable in your own thoughts and feelings.
Spend time alone – Say “no” to a social activity or event you would normally say yes to. Make a list of things you like doing alone and do this instead. If you need inspiration, ask a friend who prefers I.
Clarify thoughts alone – Reflect on the importance of an experience or an event by yourself. Contemplate impressions by yourself. Make an important decision alone. Practice clarifying your thought without speaking to others.
Seek depth in conversation – Pick out a person at a social event and talk in depth about a subject one-on-one. Everyone has something they are better at than you or an interest in something you do not know about. Find out what it is and let them be the ones that talk the most.
Examine in dept – Identify various subjects that interest you. Instead of breadth go into depth with one of the subjects. Allow more time than you think is necessary. Be patient and "look for the nuances."
Create a framework for focus – Pick out a task to work on alone. Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed. Plan your breaks and stick to them. Control your craving for variation. If you feel the urge to talk, talk to yourself.
Communicate in writing – Resist the temptation to choose verbal communication just because it is possible. Pick out three situations during the coming week where you would normally meet with or call a person and communicate in writing instead.
Think before you speak – Think through what you want to say and what your opinion is before you start talking. Consider writing down your thoughts, summarise and only convey the “essence” of what needs to be said.
Reflect before acting – Do not accept or engage in activities you would normally throw yourself into. Turn your thoughts inward and reflect whether it is the right thing to do as well as whether it is the right time and place.
"Sensing-day" – Plan a "sensing-day". Use your five senses for a whole day and focus on the real, the tangible, the observable. Note the details of real life. Be present in the moment and not in the future.
Stick to the issue – Pick out three conversations you have planned. During the conversation, focus 100% on the subject you are discussing. Push away any associations and do not interpret and “read between the lines”.
Facts – Read a short article or a memo, or ask a person who prefers S to tell you a story. Afterwards, write down the facts that were given. Crosscheck to see how accurate you were in retaining facts and not making inferences about the facts.
Focus on the details – Proofread this card (or something else) in detail. Read from the the bottom to the top, right to left, word by word. (Did you spot the error in the second line?)
Practice the details – Buy a big puzzle and use at least 20 minutes a day to put it together. Or develop a hobby that requires attention to detail such as knitting from a given pattern, cooking following the recipe closely or painting by numbers.
Follow the instructions – Practice reading and following step by step instructions. Follow an instruction manual at work, install and learn a new computer program or assemble a piece of LEGO or a piece of furniture from IKEA. Do things in the way shown in the instructions. Resist the urge to do it your own way or jump around.
Be realistic – Brainstorm and write down your ten best ideas. Pick out two or three ideas and write down how they could be implemented. Use facts to support the usefulness of the ideas. Are they realistic? Introduce the ideas to a person who prefers S. Request feedback.
Be concrete – Tell someone a story or tell about your day at work. Tell in a straightforward way what happened and communicate chronologically and in detail. Use literally concrete words. Avoid metaphors. If you use a figurative statement, convert it to a literal statement.
Task breakdown – Pick out a big task and break it down into small tasks. Write down. Make each task specific, actionable and in succession. Estimate how long time each task will take. Start from the beginning and finish each task before moving on to the next.
Resist the urge for change – Next time you notice something that needs changing, write down what is currently working. Avoid changes and "improvements" if there is no compelling reason to initiate them. Focus on only changing what is necessary.
Use routines – Make a note of what you do in the morning before leaving for work. How much of this is routine? Does having a routine make the mornings less complicated? Write down three different activities you do every day where implementing a routine would make life easier. Implement.
Use experience – Pick out a task or assignment to be performed at work or at home. Resist the urge to do it in a new and different way. Examine carefully how you or others have solved similar tasks before. Identify the hands-on experience that might be and apply the proven method. Reflect on the efficiency.
"Direct-speech day" – Plan a "direct-speech day" where you practice expressing yourself clearly about what you want. Avoid sugarcoating. Stand firm, even though others might disagree.
Map your communication style – Identify situations through your life where your communication style has been too indirect and led to confusion and irritation. Consider how you can minimise the negative impact of your communication style in the future. Practice.
Give critical feedback – Next time someone presents you with a possible solution to a problem, tell them which problems and flaws you see. Communicate clearly – do not apologise. Remind yourself that people can recover from hurt feelings, and that a bad decision or a task solved poorly can be much more harmful to them.
Be objective – Review a problem you have. Analyse to determine the cause of the problem and think of four possible ways you could take to solve the problem. List the consequences of each course of action. What are the pros and cons? Is the decision consistent with past decisions, and is it a reasonable precedent to set for future decisions?
Articulate "why" – Identify three decisions you have made recently. Logic shows the relationship between premises and conclusions – were the decisions logical? Analyse. Practice articulating "why" with focus on the underlying premises.
Uncover the logic – Pick out a conversation with others about an important topic/decision – focus on determining the underlying premises that are driving their reasoning. Ask questions until you find the arguments and conclusions are logically related.
Standard answers – Define three standard answers you can use in situations where you find it hard to say no. For example "That date sounds familiar. I need to check my calendar and get back to you." This gives you time to "prepare" your no.
Debate with yourself – Identify three situations in which you failed to draw the line – where you said yes instead of no. What were your thoughts and feelings? Write down what you were afraid would happen if you said no. Is there an objective reason for thinking that would happen?
Say no – Identify three typical situations where you find it hard to say no to others. Agree with yourself to say no the next time they occur – even though others may be disappointed. Accept the discomfort. Note how the other person reacts. If possible, request the other person's feedback on your "no".
Take yourself out of the equation – Identify an episode where you felt offended by something someone said to you. Consider which underlying premises may serve as a logical explanation for the remarks. Note how this review of the premises can change your emotional response to the episode.
Ask for objective feedback – Request objective feedback on a task you have solved. Prepare for critique. Listen with an open mind. Ask clarifying questions and ask for examples. Consider soberly what you want to do with the feedback. Could it actually make your problem solving better?
Compartmentalise – Think of the methods you use to separate a problem in your personal life from your work life (or the other way around). Apply those methods to other components of your life. Does it make life easier by logically compartmentalising parts of your life from each other?
Get it under control – Manage your tasks, appointments and obligations. Write everything down in your calendar and create a to do list. Set as a goal for the coming week to arrive at meetings and deliver input in good time. Begin working on your tasks right away. Do not postpone.
Schedule – Make a plan for the next day before leaving work. What would you like to achieve? Write it down. Estimate how long time each task will take and make an order of priority. Develop a plan for the coming week. Estimate. Prioritise. Follow the plan. Evaluate by the end of the week what went well and what can be done better. What are the benefits of planning?
Get tools – Take a training course on personal effectiveness. Learn the basic planning tools. Integrate them into your life in a way that fits your lifestyle.
Follow the rules – Sharpen your awareness of rules/procedures. Follow the rules for a week – in all aspects. Stay within the limits. If you want to do something that is not in accordance with the rules, ask for permission – not forgiveness.
Ask for feedback – Ask your family, colleagues and friends how it affects them when you are oblivious about time or agreements or are always working close to the deadline. Do they have concrete examples? What impression does it make on you?
Tidy up – Plan a tidy-up day at home and at work. Tidy up your home and your office following the motto "Everything has to stay in its own place!". Create order. Organise so it is easy to find things.
"Focus-day" – Plan a "focus-day". Complete all the tasks you have decided on getting done one at a time. Do not jump around by working on several tasks at the same time. Every time you think "There is plenty of time to ..." stop and reflect if you do actually have the time. Practice being a time realist.
Complete the task in good time – Pick out a major task. Finish the work at least four hours ahead of the deadline, then come back after two hours to see if you can improve it.
Sow before you reap – Adhere to the saying "you have to sow, before you can reap." For a week, force yourself to get all duties done. "Work before play". What are the benefits?
"J-day" – Plan a "J-day". Practice forming an opinion swiftly about absolutely everything – anytime and anywhere. Write down pros and cons of rapid decision making and eliminating uncertainty.
Be decisive – Make three decisions during the week as swiftly as possible. Do not postpone the decision to see if something else comes up, or because you want to explore something a little more. Decide on the basis of the available information (if you want to go to the conference, the meeting, the party, which option you like the best, etc.).
Resist the urge to reopen – The next time you want to reopen a decision already made, resist. Instead write down three good reasons why your decision was right.