Guiding Questionnaire for Personal Reflection

©2011 Alexandre Havard, all rights reserved. Claudio A. Rivera has done few adaptations to the original version.

Dear reader,

The time for personal reflection has as an objective to help you in analyzing your current challenges and your attitudes towards them. The following questions are inserted only to orientate your task but you could skip some or all of them if you feel they are not of help. They are prepared based on the experience of many counselors, professors and experts in human resources and leadership.

The first message this questionnaire wants to convey is that any serious and substantial change at your organization starts with the willingness of all its members to improve personally in the exercise of their responsibilities, big or small ones. At the end of the day the performance of a whole organization is not more than the sum of the performance of all its members, it doesn’t matter how important their tasks look like.

image Am I aware of my dignity, and of the power of my mind, heart and will? Am I aware of my personal freedom to take every single decision?

image I have been called to do great things, above all, to develop my personality and that of those around me. Do I know this?

image Do I realize that I am responsible for the fate of those around me?

image Do I have confidence in myself, and in my talents and abilities?

image Reflection and action are linked. Do I reflect before I act? Does reflection give rise to and inform my actions? By the same token, does action foster in me a reflexive spirit?

image Do I set high goals for myself and others? Do I strive, daily, to improve my character and behavior?

image Do I know what I am good at doing? Have I ever asked my friends, colleagues or adviser to help me discover what I am good at, and to improve?

image As important as it is to struggle against my defects, I should be more concerned to develop and augment my strengths. Am I?

image Do I devote enough time to considering my personal and professional mission? Have I discerned a mission in life?

image Do I focus on accomplishing my mission, or do I become distracted by peripheral matters?

image Do I try to inspire a sense of mission in my friends, work and colleagues?

image Am I able to make bold decisions or am I risk-averse? Does my fear of making mistakes cause me to be indecisive?

image Do I see obstacles as summits to be conquered, or do I give in to pessimism?

image Do I seek to address the problems of my workplace, society, country, humanity? Do I see them as opportunities to grow?

image The only thing I have to fear is not the evil that others do, but the good

I fail to do. Do I realize this?

image Do I respect the dignity of others, especially the ones I lead? Do I lead by example rather than compulsion, do I teach rather than command, inspire rather than browbeat? Leadership is less about displays of power than about the empowerment of others. Am I aware of this and do I act accordingly?

image Do I solicit the input of others in solving problems? Do I make use of their contributions?

image Do I refrain from interfering in the work of my subordinates, unless I have good reason? Do I avoid treating them like children?

image Do I avoid the temptation to do subordinates’ work for them?

image Do I readily delegate power, that is transfer decision-making power to subordinates?

image Do I foster in my team a culture of freedom and personal responsibility so that everyone truly participates in decision-making and feels accountable?

image Do I do everything I can to strengthen the commitment of team members to the shared mission?

image Do I draw out the reticent, encourage the domineering to yield, and help pessimists to see the positive side? Do I urge them to question the conventional wisdom?

image Do I renounce my judgments (unless principles are at stake) when the group decides against my position? If, subsequently, decision taken against my advice proves mistaken, do avoid saying, “I told you so”? Do I participate enthusiastically in the implementation of all decisions—even those I initially opposed?

image Do I promote my workplace rather than myself? Do I avoid making myself indispensable? Do I share information? Do I create the conditions whereby others can successfully finish what I started?

image Do I choose my collaborators well, and pave the way for my succession? Do I find, develop and encourage new leaders?

image Do I take pleasure in being of service? Do I cultivate altruistic motives?

image The employee who is motivated by a desire to serve is better suited for a leadership position than one more concerned to seek material rewards, no matter how brilliant his professional background. Am I aware of this?

image Am I concerned that those who work for and with me are happy? Do I take a proper interest in their professional success and financial security? I am prepared to do what I can to help them achieve happiness in their personal lives? Am I loyal to them?

image Do I learn from those I lead?

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