What are your personal gifts?
Before the pandemic, while at a yoga class, the teacher asked us to consider the following question during our practice – “what gifts do you offer to the world?”
I resisted the urge to open my eyes and look around the room to see if anyone else was puzzled by the question and instead tried to focus my mind on the question.
What gifts do I give to my workplace, my family, my friends, my community…?
Think about it for a moment, for yourself – ‘What are your personal gifts?’
It’s a great question to consider at any time in your life, but especially when preparing for a job interview, or networking, as usually you will be asked to talk about yourself and describe your strengths. Being clear and confident you have something to share with the world can also restore some perspective when you’ve faced a number of setbacks, or if you are feeling anything less than ‘good enough’.
First and foremost, it’s important to your emotional wellbeing that you know that you matter. Whatever problems, mistakes or adversity you have experienced, you will feel better and more satisfied with your life if you recognize you have value.
Maybe it’s also a question for those who know you, and have experienced you, to respond to – what do they believe are your personal gifts? Asking for that kind of feedback takes a bit of courage but the answers can be insightful. Other peoples’ perceptions of you can be different from your own views and, if you want to make a positive impact on others, it’s helpful to know what they think.
When running leadership workshops, I always suggest to managers that they ask their direct reports how satisfied they are with the way that he/she manages them and the team. Some managers feel threatened by this suggestion, but I think it’s important to remember that leadership involves other people. Without any ‘followers’ there is no leadership; it’s game over. You can only use your personal powers to influence others for good if they perceive you have those powers in the first place.
Leadership needs to be flexible and personal; tailored to the individual’s needs. One size will not fit all and finding out how satisfied others are with your style will help you adjust it to suit and ultimately, you’ll evolve into a better leader. Into your highest and best self.
Warren Buffet observed “there will never be a better you than you”.
Amongst the billions of people on this planet, you are unique, you are special. You have your own personal gifts to offer to the world. One of the most important goals you can set for yourself in the future is to make a difference in others’ lives by being the best you can be.
What will you do, today, to be the best you? And how will you share that with others?