This list's meaning is obvious.
On a personal or organizational level, what are your strengths and weakness. In your environment, what are the opportunities and threats.
You can do a general version of this for your personal life or for your organization, and so it is a great contribution to understanding. However, the most practical version is to do it in relation to a specific goal.
These two uses have different roles to play. The general version can be useful when you are feeling a little lost and are looking the next turn when your life is changing at a fast pace. It can help you develop a practical direction.
The goal-oriented version is part of the mapping process when you know where you are going. It allows you to get a clear sense of where you are starting from and what you'll need to get to the destination.
In both these cases you can lose focus and you can find the questions overwhelming. What are your strengths - can be massive. As is true of the other questions, they are very general and open. Even if you've done this kind of analysis of your life, work or business before, you'll find this form a useful outline for a new approach.
At the moment these pages are simply a listing of questions which are pointers to the kinds of things which are worth thinking about.
If you find that spending a long time examining your weaknesses is depressing then alternate. Take four A4 pages and alternate between each of the four categories - write a weakness then a strength, a threat and then an opportunity and so on.
When these pages are completed as forms then you'll get the opportunity to choose either method and choose which order you do them.
What is the current state of your physical resources?
Bank accounts -
Cash in Hand -
What from your past are helping or hindering your current situation? (essentially a resume with a difference)
Degrees or other qualifications.
Other past achievements.
Problems that may have a negative effect on your scope of choice e.g. legal problems, relationships with people you've hurt in some way, obligations and responsibilities (financial, material, time, emotional or otherwise) which are ongoing.
What are you most afraid of?
Physical fears - e.g. death, pain, phobias etc.
Emotional fears - e.g. rejection, success, loss, abandonment, betrayal, secrecy.
What are your strongest motivators?
Other people's opinions.
Going after your desires.
Feeling a senses of achievement.
Avoiding things you fear - seeking security.
If you could have anything (without regard for limits or problems), what would you be, do and have, how would you live?
What are the compromises you've made on these goals? And why make them?
Are you going towards these goals? If not, why aren't you there or working towards them?
What are the things you know have a tendency to block or interfere with your motivation?
Identity, esteem, body.
How do you honestly feel about your capacity to achieve your goals?
Do you have all the abilities you need to go after your goals?
What are the talents you believe you have that are reflected in your achievements?
What are the talents you have which you feel are not reflected in your achievements?
What is your health like?
How do you feel about your body?
If doing a corporate or group version of this analysis these last two questions involve an analysis of its relationships, morale, efficiency and effectiveness.
How do you feel you are perceived by the people important to you?
At work -
Action, Close relationships - Allies & enemies.
Who are the people most important to you?
Describe them in emotional terms and what is important to them and your relationship with them. Consider what motivates them, how successful they are - in their own terms and in yours. How secure are they? What are the ethics by which they operate?
If you are doing this process for a group (say a business) include employees, customers, suppliers, regulators, and any group that may have an interest in the way you do your work, e.g. non-government groups like environmentalists and community groups.
Do a Power Profile.
This is a way of examining those people and institutions which have influence in your life in general, and on your specific goals. It includes those most intimate with you, and in a business situation you customers, suppliers, regulators, allies and enemies.
Do a Trust Profile.
Consider how your feelings of trust relate to the people who have influence on you and power over you. There maybe people you trust who have little influence in you life (therefore they very safe to trust) and so don't appear in the Power Profile while others you trust may have considerable influence, for example your lover maybe in this latter group.
Look at the interrelationship of these two, who are the people who have influence on you that you also trust and those that you don't? Why do each of them have this status?
Who are people who might be a threat to your plans, who may stand in your way even without intending to?
Who are the people and institutions who will help you get to where you want to be?
Who are the people and institutions which are supportive of you in general though possibly not specifically helpful with any goal?
Who are the people and institutions which maybe against you in general though possibly not able to interfere with any specific goal?
What will you do with the realizations you gain from this process?
Do you consider yourself a good communicator?
Which media do you feel most competent communicating through? Which ways do you have problems communicating with?
Are you a good listener?
Do you consider yourself a flexible communicator, varying your style according your partners in the process and the message?
What are the circumstances under which you'll change your mind?
Are you good at recognizing when you are wrong, or need to apologize?
Do a communication profile for all in your list of important people. Include yourself in the list.
What is your impression of the emotional quality that primarily motivates or comes across to you in each of them before they speak? For example, are they charismatic, are they quiet, are they very physical, intellectual, good taste - whatever comes to mind first (free associate).
Are they good at listening?
Are they good at speaking?
What is their background - educational level, culture and class?
Which media are the best ways of communicating with them - visual, written, spoken, touch, sculpture, music; whatever, it might be cooking?
From listening to them can you tell which sense predominates in their thinking and communication - visual, hearing, feeling?
How strongly does the 'I' feature in their thinking and talking?
How much influence do other people's opinions have on them and they on others? How are they about obeying rules?
How open are they to changing their minds? What will change it - nothing, the evidence, logic, the media (which - books, visual like TV), a person with strength, charisma or they are in love with?
How flexible are their ways of communicating? Does is change according to stereotypes, like gender, race, age, culture, status of the people they are talking to?
Are they good at apologizing and/or admitting they are wrong?
What are the ethical foundations you use to decide the limits of behaviours? Is there a particular book, tradition or religion which you use as a guide?
If so, who are the teachers who help you interpret and apply the teachings to your life.
What process do you use to judge the effects and affects of your actions on others?
Honestly appraise the order of importance by which you value different aspects of the world -
Now after that first reaction think specifically about your behaviours in detail and consider the conflict between your them and your ideal values.
In general, how do you feel when there is a conflict between your values and your actions?
How do you make decisions when faced with a situations where there are two or more rights of almost equal value?
What do you do when confronted with a situation where your only options are all against your values or at least are things you don't want to do, choosing the best of a bad bunch?
List the five (or whatever number seems right) events which have had the largest affects on the course of your life and your emotional responses to events.
Are you happy with the way you affect your world?
Its magnitude, how many people and how deeply you effect the world. Are you successful at sticking to your ethics through your actions?
Do a version of the power and trust profile based on your affect on the important people in your life.
If you are really courageous ask them about issues of trust, power (affect) and communication.
How do you respond to feeling limited either by your own lack of knowledge, ability or talent?
How do you respond to
If you believe there are no accidents and the world is operating according to plan, how do you rationalize these unexpected events? What are you seeking with this process of fitting it into your view of the world?
How do you allow for these situations in your relationships - feelings, thinking and planning - including financial, material and emotional sense?
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