Successful self-evaluation can be the difference between landing your dream job or settling for a role below your potential!

What sounds easy in theory can be difficult in practice; It’s astonishing the number of people who will forgo any self-assessment exercises despite the value they can offer. Maybe, like many, you cringe at the thought of self-evaluation and reflection. Does the idea of highlighting your skills & achievements while being brutally honest with yourself sound like too daunting a task?

The reality is it’s not all that intimidating. With knowledge of self-assessment methods, pen & paper and a bit of spare time you can take an important first step towards self-actualisation.

Having previously discussed the SMART goal methodology, it’s no surprise we are big believers in self-assessment and reflection at Ingenio Learning, Here are 5 additional strategies you can use for self-evaluation, organisation or even boost productivity

1. The 5 R’s of Reflection:

Although primarily used in scholarly, academic environments, The 5 R’s Framework can be a great starting point for self-evaluation;

Reporting: Here, you want to give a simple but descriptive account of an event. Think of the 5 W’s; Who, What, Where, When, Why
Responding: This relates to one’s own personal, emotional response to the events. Take note of your observations, emotions & questions.
Relating: Make note of logical connections between the events which occur and your interpretation.
Reasoning: Understanding and describing a situation through relevant experiences.
Reconstructing: Drawing conclusions based on your experiences and knowledge. Using these experiences to craft a better action plan for the future.

2. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs:

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a motivational theory proposed in 1943. Commonly conceptualised as a pyramid, Maslow’s theory aims to speculate human needs. The tiered system can be recontextualised for productivity and assessing one’s goals. Maslow’s theory states that each level of the pyramid must be completely satisfied before progressing to the next.

Physiological: This level consists of our most basic biological needs for survival, such as; food & drink, sleep, clothing, warmth & housing.

Safety: With our physiological needs met, we generally next require a sense of safety & security. Although the universe is inherently chaotic, we as humans chase a sense of control and predictability. Job security, health insurance, financial & emotional security are all examples of our safety requirements for proper functionality.

Love & Belonging: This need focuses on our relationships; from romantic partnerships to our relationships with friends and family. In a general sense, this stage is derived from people’s tendency to need to fit into a social group. It is important to define the set of expectations that you have personally, regarding your relationships.

Esteem: According to Maslow, this need can be viewed in two ways; One’s self-esteem & self-confidence and validation from others regarding personal achievements or accomplishments.

Self-Actualisation: This level represents the peak of Maslows Hierarchy. This level describes a sense of fulfilment which can be reached by living up to one’s potential resulting in your best self. Self-Actualisation needs will be completely dependent on the individual and thus, will vary greatly.

3. Time Management Matrix

This strategy aims to improve time management and the effective prioritising of your tasks and goals. Simply grab a piece of paper and divide it into four equal quadrants to get started!

The quadrants should be labelled as such;
Quadrant 1: Important and urgent
Quadrant 2: Important but not urgent
Quadrant 3: Not important but urgent
Quadrant 4: Not important and not urgent

By meticulously organising your to-do list’s goals & objectives into these designated quadrants you can begin to paint a picture of your priorities and arrange your time accordingly.

4. Recording Audio & Video

In the age of remote work and video conferencing software, you would think that just about everyone would have adjusted to embracing camera’s in our day to day lives.

If the thought of navigating multiple zoom meetings & interviews doesn’t phase you then maybe you’ve mastered this step. However, if the sound of your recorded voice makes you shudder or you feel anxiety is getting in the way of presenting your best self while on camera, then perhaps this self-evaluation method is most worth your time.

Whether you’re demonstrating a skill, practising public speaking or preparing for a job interview there is a multitude of benefits to playing out these situations in front of a camera. Not only can you track and measure your progress but audio & video recording allow for sharing amongst peers, perfect for integration within a 360° feedback system.

5. Bullet Journaling

Ryder Carroll, the New York designer & Author of “The Bullet Journal Method” describes Bullet Journaling as a mindfulness practice disguised as a productivity system, which aims “to help you track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future.”

Have you have ever been down the rabbit hole of searching for productivity hacks in an attempt to streamline your workflow? Your obsessive list-making to track progress, although sometimes effective, leaves much to be desired. What was an original attempt to improve organisation has resulted in piles of crumpled paper & half-filled notepads.

If this sounds like you then maybe you can benefit from this method. The bullet journal method is an innovative approach to journaling that embraces a minimalist aesthetic. Utilising a coding system, a Bullet Journal can track the most important note-worthy information while leaving out the filler!

There really can be no understating the importance of critical self-evaluation to your professional development. Whether you’re in the early stages of deciding your career path or knee-deep in preparation before that all-important interview, performing a self-assessment can be integral to better understanding your strengths & weaknesses, your ambitions and your priority’s.

This article intended to shed some light on the importance of self-assessment, self-evaluation & reflection. Although we have covered some of the most common approaches, it’s worth noting finding a system that works for you will require putting these theory’s to practice!

Here at Ingenio Learning, we employ our unique take on self-assessment and reflection exercises in our 4 Steps To Get Hired By A Tech Company course. A full list of tactics and methods would reach far outside the scope of this article so, like anything, DYOR (Do Your Own Research) is encouraged for best results! 

Written by James Coffey

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