Your personality is the pattern of thinking, feeling and behaviours that you typically display. The best personality development tips encourage you to cultivate a sense of self. This is because self-awareness is the foundation for all personal development. Self-awareness provides a platform in which you can reflect on your behaviours, your beliefs and how you may come across to others.
The first step towards self-awareness is to realise that not everyone perceives the world in the same way. The DISC theory of behaviour, developed by psychologist William Moulton Marston in the 1920s, proposed that people view their environment as either hostile or friendly and in response, behave in either an active or passive manner. This produces four behavioural styles:
- Dominance - active behaviour towards a hostile environment
- Influence - active behaviour towards a friendly environment
- Steadiness - passive behaviour towards a friendly environment
- Compliance - passive behaviour towards a hostile environment
Acknowledging your own approach to the world and appreciating that others may have a different viewpoint can help you to understand how others see you and how they may interpret your behaviour.
Learning more about yourself
So how do you go about developing your self-awareness? As obvious as it sounds, start paying attention to the thing you do and notice how they are different from how other people react. Faced with a challenge at work, do you dive in with enthusiasm, or seek time to reflect on the problem? Do you love talking to people, or do you find it tiresome when people talk too much?
If you find it difficult to consider your behaviour objectively ask your friends, family and colleagues to describe how you would tackle different situations, or what they see as your greatest strengths. Behavioural assessments such as the Thomas PPA can also be a good way to gain additional insight into your preferred style.
Develop your strengths
Personal development can sometimes focus heavily on ‘fixing’ your flaws, or trying to make you better at things that don’t come naturally. Whilst there is certainly some value in recognising activities you are less adept at, it isn’t productive to focus your time on solely trying to improve upon things you do badly.
Focus on enhancing your strengths. Whatever your natural style, your skills have positive value; learning how and when to use them will help you make the best of your natural aptitudes.
Having a thorough grasp of your own talents will make you more adapt at knowing when to dive into situations or projects and when to call on the expertise of others. This awareness also gives you the opportunity to make choices about whether to adjust your behaviour for certain people or situations. Whilst we all have personal preferences about how we approach the world, we also have the ability to ‘flex’ our behaviour if we want to. Self-awareness makes it possible for you to choose when and how often you do this, if at all.
Personality development tips should help you find your strengths and make the most of your natural abilities. Self-awareness enables you to value skills different to your own, whilst putting your own talent to best effect.