How to Know Thyself to Build Strong Relationships and Teams

Socrates is famous for arguing that we must Know Thyself to be wise and that the unexamined life is not worth living.

"Know Thyself"
artist credit: OLiviA E. FueNtE ArT & IlluStratioN

 I want to share with you the same tools that I ask each of my clients to do when they begin coaching with me.  Understanding yourself and those you work or live with is a great way to build a strong team or relationships with those you love.  I have asked my husband and son to take these assessments as well as my employees.  This is important so that you can get to know your behavior and understand why you do the things you do, to discover what motivates you and understand your coping strategies. This is what I call your MO – mode of operation.

Getting to know yourself is a amazing journey of self-exploration and self-realization. I began this journey when I started my first business back in 1995.  The truth is that the more you understand yourself, the more you understand others.

As my business grew in the early years and I hired part-time contractors, I asked them to take the same personality assessments that I had taken.  I wanted to understand what motivated them so that I could help them perform at their best.

Online Assessments I Recommend:

We started with the Enneagram, a dynamic system of nine personality types that describes nine different patterns of thinking, feeling and acting.  Each personality pattern is based on perception filters that determine our worldview – how we see the world.  I also found that using the Enneagram at work was important to understanding what would motivate my employees and monitoring their blind spots.  I highly recommend the book The Nine Ways of Working.

You can take the online Enneagram assessment for $10 here.  When you know your type, you can then read more about the nine Enneagram types here.

David Daniels, author of the Essential Enneagram summarizes the three laws of behavior:

Law 1  Wherever your attention goes along with your driving energy, behavior follows.

Law 2  Managing your attention and energy requires self-observation. The skill of self-observation is essential for altering your attention, energy and your behavior, as desired.

Law 3  Although self-observation becomes easier with practice, it never becomes habitual. Self-observation requires continuing practice.

The next assessment I always like my clients and employees to take is the Strength Finder.   I now recommend Gallup’s Strength Finder 2.0, and you can take it for $9.99 online. It’s quick and you get your five top strengths sent to you in email.

Once you learn your top five strengths you can begin to maximize your talents by focusing more time on practicing and developing more skills to make them stronger.  It’s important to understand that you can’t make your weaknesses your strengths but you can make your talents extraordinary strengths.

How I Built A Powerhouse Business Team

Here’s the “why” I am sharing this with you.  When I built my team of five employees in my healthcare technology PR business, I had no management or business training when I started my first business in 1998.  I did what felt intuitive as a business owner.  My team later gave me feedback (in yet another assessment of sorts – an Appreciative Inquiry Leadership and Self-Awareness survey) that they loved working with me but didn’t necessarily love the work they were doing.  They loved their own personal growth process as employees.  They were growing as people while they were working.

I had hired my weaknesses intuitively.  I had hired each employee that had strengths that I didn’t have.  I had strengths they didn’t have.  Together we were a power-house team.

This team helped me build a six-figure business in a few years.

When you own a business, you hire your weaknesses.

So if you are in a relationship, marriage or business of your own, start today to get to know  yourself and those who are close to you.  Let me know what you think of this information and share what you think.

Turn the spotlight inward. ~ Gandhi