To Move Forward — Be Constructively Critical (of Yourself)


Photo: Paulina Milde Jachowska @ unsplash

We all would like to think that we do things well — and a strong belief that we have the skills to succeed helps us in most workplace situations. However, there can be unwanted “glare” concerning those same skills that can create a gap in self-knowledge.

In fact, our own confidence can impede us from looking at our own behavior with a constructively critical eye.

Succumbing to bias concerning our own workplace strengths isn’t an easy dead end to face. Moreover, the areas that we most value in ourselves (and likely derive the most satisfaction) — can be the most heavily protected. As a result, we are less likely to look for opportunities to examine our own skills critically. In fact, research has shown that we tend to view our own skills more positively than our peers see us.

So it is possible to be unaware of a problem on the horizon.

Organizations that have enjoyed success — can blindly stop looking toward the future. People that have proven expertise, can also stop looking for avenues to grow. It is a weakness that we may not see, that can become a future impediment. It is important to realize that meeting our current goals, does not ensure our continued competence.

Only a keen eye and professional development, can help us stay in the right groove.

So I’ll pose these questions:

  1. What skills do you personally value most at work?
  2. Have you paused to critically examine your performance within these areas recently?
  3. Can you identify an element that could improve?
  4. Has there been a shift in the external environment that affects your skill set?
  5. How would/could you improve? What actions would you take?

I challenge you to look at your own skills critically and find a strategy to stay “skill healthy” longer-term.

What did you identify?

Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist and worklife strategist. She is a charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program. Her thoughts on work life have appeared in various outlets including the Harvard Business Review, Talent Zoo, Forbes, Quartz and The Huffington Post.

1 thought on “To Move Forward — Be Constructively Critical (of Yourself)”

  1. Thanks for the information. This is a must do for myself. Skill improvement and/or refinement is critical to professional success!


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