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Manager’s Checkup: Strategies for professional success

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in Career Management,Workplace Communication

Are you prepared to grow, person­ally and professionally, from your experiences as a manager? Take this quiz and find out how well you've mastered some basic strategies for professional success.

For each item, rate how well it applies to you on a scale of 1 (least) to 5 (most):

___ 1. When I want a different response from another person, I focus on changing my behavior.

___ 2. I accept other people the way they are. My concern is performance, not personality.

___ 3. When I plan for my future, I aim to work toward my personal and professional goals at the same time.

___ 4. I regularly ask for feedback about my performance—from both my superiors and my employees.

___ 5. I keep up with the latest news and trends in my field and industry.

___ 6. If I feel like work is becoming routine, I seek out more challenging assignments.

___ 7. I try to produce quality work because I'm not satisfied with less—not just because others expect it of me.

___ 8. I feel like I know what I really want out of my career.

___ 9. I work hard at maintaining balance in my life, including taking care of myself.

___ 10. I know how to relax in healthy ways.

___ 11. I take responsibility for my own feelings.

___ 12. I feel that I both praise and reinforce good performance and con­front unsatisfactory performance as much as I need to.

What do your scores mean?

If you scored more than 45 points, congratulations! You're well-posi­tioned to take advantage of your opportunities to grow professionally and personally. And you probably have the self-awareness to know when your strategies aren't as strong as they could be. When you look at the items for which you ranked yourself lowest, ask yourself what priority these actually have for you. Do you want to improve them, or can you live with them as they are? Only you can decide.

If you scored between 24 and 45 points, you're on the right track—but there's certainly room for improvement. You may find that your low numbers cluster around specific themes, such as how (or whether) you take care of yourself and meet your personal needs (num­bers 3, 9, 10, 11), or how confident­ly you deal with other people (num­bers 1, 2, 4, 12). Think through the best ways you can improve your performance in these areas.

If you scored fewer than 23 points, you're probably ready for some big changes in your personal and professional life. Use these items as guides as you chart out for your­self what kind of situation you really want—and don't be afraid to go out and find it.

Remember that "personal and professional growth" isn't the same thing as "success" or "advancement" as we've often been taught to define those terms. It may have nothing to do with power or money or status; it will, almost always, have to do with your satisfaction and your ability to make your actions count.

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