Tools for Gathering Insight

the tool box

In the Nashville airport last week, I picked up On Managing Yourself from Harvard Business Review.  While a stack of papers to grade kept me from diving into it immediately, it’s on my bedside table for this week’s reading.   Meanwhile, I’ve been ruminating on what behavior, habit, practice is at the core of managing yourself and it comes down to this: self-awareness.

I was in Nashville last week to facilitate Passion. Purpose. Peace, a retreat that guides participants in practicing self-acceptance, identifying their passion, and embracing their purpose.  As participants experienced moments of discover or clarity, they thanked me.

“Don’t thank me,” I insisted.  “You are the one finding your answers.”

The truth is that we all have our answers deep down inside.  We just need to give ourselves the time to discover our truths, and the opportunity for the questions to be asked.  Sometimes a retreat can do that but sometimes a retreat just isn’t available/an option right when you need some insight.

If you are looking for some tools to help you gather some insight, here are a few I’ve recently checked out.

Learn You.  Karen Gunton is a business coach whose graphics I love.  She periodically puts out workbooks that are especially good for business owners.  I just received an email about Learn You, her newest workbook (this one is free), focused on personal clarity.  I haven’t completed the workbook yet but I anticipate it will be a great tool for getting quiet and discovering what you know deep down inside.

Strengthsfinder 2.0.  This little gem of a tool allows you to take an online assessment to discover what your greatest strengths and then the book gives your great suggestions about how to incorporate those strengths into your life.  While it’s not free, it’s an incredible tool for articulating what you most have to offer and then identifying how to turn up the volume on it in your life.

Enneagram.   The Enneagram is a geometric representation of nine different personality types (the helper, the investigator, the peacemaker, etc) with an eye towards how they interact, intersect.  While it doesn’t cover all the complexities, there is a 36 question free test you can take to get a sense of your basic personality type.

Archetypal Branding Self-AssessmentMelissa Bolton is a copywriter and brand therapist.  Her “freebie” on her website is a archetypal brand self-assessment and while it is designed with a lens towards how you might do your business branding, the exercise can definitely be personally insightful.

Discover who you are, what you do and how you do it.   Alexandra Franzen has some great tools and this one lets you fill in the blank on who you are and what you do.

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