How to redefine your or your team member’s identity?
If you are asking the above question as a leader – you may be facing many challenging circumstances either directly or indirectly around you. When I come across a person with an imbalanced work & life situation or insecurity about current role and future steps, I start out by mapping out self-awareness in one-to-one meetings. It could include, e.g. the following questions below:
- Is there a defined value framework? Can you name mentors, visionaries, books, authors, movies, people who have and are making a difference in your life?
- What is the preference in communication? Analytical or emotionally driven. If I say: ”Many people said so and so about success …” i.e., does the other person react to what I said, or how many people have said it? This guides me to know how specific I need to be in the dialogue and follow-up.
- Is there a feeling of empowerment? Is there space to grow the identity in private and work conditions. In other words: identifying empowering and limiting factors among colleagues, peers, family, management, spouse, finances, facilities, resources, etc.
- Is there a sense of self-expression? Defining if the person has a willingness, time, space, natural channels to express themselves in different ways, especially creatively.
- Is there a big enough storage of emotional intelligence? If there is a limited response to self-expression, it implies to me that it has to be discovered, created, encouraged or realized. In many cases, I would find ways to increase emotional intelligence directly or indirectly through mentors, coaches, tools, peering teams, etc.
- Is there a bucket list, i.e., what are the most critical aspects, to-do’s, dreams, wishes, studies? The answers would lead me to discuss priorities, possibilities. I would present options for different routes and give the other person time to decide what felt most appropriate for them. Very often the intuition already knows, but it takes time for the conscious mind to realize the best course of action.
After identifying the first six steps of identity awareness, I would address the next levels of identity development, career steps and pathways to success. If you find a positive response and roads to explore in all factors, you have a framework for the path to prosperity.
Last, but not least, if you are married or live with a partner – never suffocate the other person from recreating and developing their identity. After two decades of marriage, I can say with confidence that I never regretted letting my spouse try out his wings – even if the anticipated outcome was not always favorable.
I always consider: “What if I was not here tomorrow – how would the other person succeed? Have I done the most to help them out on their path?” I consider the same with any of the people I work closely with.
The best thing you can offer to another person is to let them feel they are enough for the world, and they have everything it takes to live prosperously. If you are looking for inspiration or exchange of thoughts about this post’s topic, you know where to find me. I am always interested in learning new concepts.
“Dif-tor heh smusma.”
“Live long and prosper.”
~Vulcan salute, Star Trek