Understanding ourselves

Welcome to the second part of Understanding in the TRUE Leaders Programme. Below you will find the video, audio and a transcript as well as a link to the worksheet. 

Worksheet (to download)

Video transcript

Hello, and welcome back to understanding as part of the TRUE Leaders Programme. So we previously thought about what understanding meant to us. And now, we are going to flip that to ourselves and think about understanding ourselves. And this is where the self-discovery part of the programme really comes into its own because this video is all about understanding ourselves and what makes us unique.

We are all on this world, unique human beings, even those of us that might be identical twins or triplets. You may know yourself, everybody is unique, everyone has unique experiences, and we all have something to bring. But it is important for us to remember those things and the things that really make us, us, and that is one of the big parts of the programme. It is about understanding who we are, living our true life, and not being afraid to share who we really are.

So what I would like you to do with this is to spend some time really thinking about what makes you, you. There are a few different ways that you might want to do this. You might want to choose some different words that describe you. You may want to get some feedback from others about what it is that they like about you. You may have done some work on your strengths already. You may recognise some of your strengths and what they are. So this is really sort of an open book, an open opportunity for you to do whatever feels right to you, to help you get a deeper understanding of who you are.

One exercise that I quite like to think about with this is what we refer to as the "Hundred People In a Room: What Makes You Unique" task. And this is one where you think about if there were a hundred people in a room, and a certain thing was said, you would be the only person in that room that would stay standing when they said that thing. So it could be a certain experience that you have had that is unique to you. In your working life, in your home life, whatever that might be, there might be something about you that is an incredibly powerful experience that defines part of who you are because of that experience. Or it might be a certain trait, or characteristic, or a combination of certain characteristics or traits that make you unique.

And when we think about this, it is really good to think about the things that we carry with us through all parts of our life. There are certain skills that we may have that come forward in our working life, but they may not be the skills that we tend to cherish and utilise across all other parts of our lives. And vice versa there may be some skills and traits that come out in our home life, but they may not be ones that we bring out in every situation. So this is the opportunity to think about what are those things that really do stay true to who you are? If you were a slice of rock and we cut you through the middle, what would it say in the middle of you? What is it about you that makes you, you?

I have done a few different things when I have done this sort of task, and the one that I like is where I kind of pick words to describe myself and then almost write myself a little mini-biography. So you may want to do something around that. Again, honouring who you are. The style in which you do it is another way in which you may embrace some of yourself. I know someone very close to me who applied for a job at quite a quirky brand by sending them something quite quirky because it said something about them. They did not just send a CV, they made something and sent it to them because that is what they felt the brand would appreciate. And if they did not, that was fine too. But it was about who they are.

And sometimes we can perhaps put on a different hat, put on a cloak, and try to be a certain type of person. And we are still honouring who we are, but we are sort of acting a role. I want you to shed that cloak today, and I want you to think about who you really truly are, and what it is about you that makes you so incredible.

So have a lot of fun with this one, take your time, jot down some ideas, speak to other people, whatever works for you. But what I would love you to do is in some way to understand yourself better. You may want to write yourself a little biography, you may want to record a little video about this is who I am, and think about embracing The Greatest Showman: This is me.

Who are you? What makes you, you? So that is what this is all about, understanding and truly understanding yourself, and starting to show that a little bit more as well. So that is the second part. That is your stretch goal with this.

So the first part is understanding yourself. The second part is how do you live that? How do you embody that? For me, I am very curious, and that is something that comes out across all areas of my life. The other thing that I am though is really quite silly. I love embracing my silly side, but it does not always show up. Things work best when it does, and so when I can be fun and when I can be silly, I am in my element. And I try to embrace that and try to encourage myself to do that in other situations, but it always feels a little bit of a stretch. But when I do, it pays off dividends.

So what is it that you could do, where you could bring more of who you really are, to these situations? When we are doing self-discovery, it is not about being someone different. It is about being ourselves and I love that phrase of leadership is about, “being yourself and more so, with skill”. It is about bringing who you really are to the forefront across all of your life, and that will benefit you and it will benefit other people as well.

So that is enough talking. Now it is time for you to have a little think about who you are, and if you are ready to share, please do share that with me, share that with other people, and let us see how this goes. So today is all about understanding you and who you really are. I hope that you embrace today and just love learning more about you. So I will see you again in the next one when we start thinking about other people. But for now, the focus is just on you. So enjoy it. Take care.

Audio (to stream or download)