Personal Sensitivity

One of the most important ingredients in maximising one’s own performance is self-awareness.  One of the biggest blockers to this is personal sensitivity.

Your Coach Online   Written by: Alan Rodway – YCO

CATEGORY: People and Performance

Being thin-skinned, easily offended, rejecting advice or feedback because it’s hard to take, taking up defensive positions …  all stop people fulfilling their potential in their careers, in fact in life.  Further, some people declare that they aren’t personally sensitive and that they can ‘take it’ but, in reality, they can’t and don’t.

There are some important steps to follow to prevent the above being the case for you:

  1. Be aware of your behaviours and how you are perceived by others, including sourcing feedback.
  2. Acknowledge what is less than perfect about your behaviours.
  3. Resolve to change those behaviours.
  4. Act on your self-commitments for behavioural change.
  5. Get genuine feedback as to whether your behaviours have actually changed.
  6. Promise yourself that never, ever, never will you allow your personal sensitivities to restrict your personal growth … and give that message to everyone around you so they can hold you to account.

It’s sad that so many people fail to ever fulfil their potential because they don’t even get the first step of awareness right, let alone have the courage and commitment to move through the remaining steps.  It’s almost ridiculous to have to make the point that many people are too personally sensitive to ever become what they could … but it’s too often true.  It’s also too often true for people who are in senior positions … they rarely get external prods to wake up and change because of their authority.

Make the statements/commitments below, in order, to make it easier for yourself:
  1. “I’m imperfect” (that’s a fact for everyone).
  2. “I want to get better”.
  3. “I will improve quicker with help from others”.
  4. “I want to help others get better”.

Sounds a bit like a public meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous but these statements really help improvement.

To aid your self-awareness, write an essay about your life so far, simply describing what’s happened in the various stages.  Make it no more than two to three pages long.  Then consider the following:

    1. What does it tell you?
    2. What do you notice about your behaviours in your story so far (including common threads)?
    3. What would you do differently?
    4. What are the big behavioural lessons?
    5. What changes will you make to your behaviours from here on?

Then continue the essay from time to time … don’t make it a book …  just a summary of your life so far.  This exercise will elevate your self-awareness, improve your perspective and create greater urgency for behavioural change.

Personal sensitivity can hamper self-development.  It’s even worse to live in denial of that sensitivity.  This article is deliberately brief so that readers can acknowledge what they should and improve where it’s possible.

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