Strive To Know Thyself

by | Business coaching, Leadership

Since at least the time of Plato and Socrates some 2400 years ago, mankind has been implored to “know thyself,” in life and in business. Individually, this is often taken to mean knowing your strengths so you can leverage them and knowing your areas of weakness so you can improve them or compensate for them. But it involves much more than this. While at the business level, many organizations struggle with getting more done with fewer people and less resources. As your employees have changed roles or added responsibilities, you need to have confidence that you have the right people in the right positions to get the best possible results.

In some cases you do have the right team members in the right places and in some cases you probably made some wrong choices, as we all have. Companies forced to reorganize made quick decisions resulting in people landing in the wrong roles. Likewise, companies that have experienced significant growth have ended up with similar staffing outcomes. Diagnostic assessments can help you identify

performance gaps and help your company effectively understand and align the talents, behaviors, and motivators of every employee. Having the right employee in the right position is as critical to each individual’s success as it is to the success of the entire company.

The first step in bridging performance gaps is for management to commit to a people development process for employees. It should be based on the skills, attitudes, and behaviors necessary for them to do their jobs successfully. If the size of the organization is large enough, it can be implemented by HR. Regardless, the objectives and strategies of developing employees, and how those emp

loyees are going to help drive results, needs to be owned by management.

After commitment has been gained and the objectives have been identified, diagnostic assessments can help determine individual performance gaps, since developmental opportunities will be employee-specific. Assessments can also be utilized as an important tool for creating skill development as well attitudinal and behavioral improvement while eliminating employee and organizational resistance to change.

There are a multitude of individual assessment tools available, but regardless of which we utilize, when working with clients we focus diagnostically on the whole person as defined by these three key areas:

  1. WHAT natural talents do your employees possess? An analysis of TALENTS gets at a person’s ability to do things, how they make decisions and interact with the world around them, as well as how they perceive themselves.
  2. WHY are your employees motivated to use their natural talents, based on their personal motivators and drivers? An analysis of MOTIVATORS gets at why people do things. Everyone has their own unique mix of personal drivers and motivators that help guide them toward success. Understanding what really drives a person is a crucial element of success.
  3. HOW do your employees prefer to use their natural talents, based on their preferred behavioral style? An analysis of BEHAVIORS gets at a person’s manner of doing things; how they do things. Since each individual has their own unique preferences and habits for how they like to behave, this understanding is crucial when working with team members as a leader or a manager, or in an environment that requires conflict resolution.

Establishing new behaviors requires that the employee feels able to adopt those behaviors and feels comfortable doing so. A well-designed people-development process focused on objectives leveraging diagnostic assessments drives long-term change. After the completion of a development process, we consistently see high levels of adaptable change with sustainable results. To learn how to achieve these types of sustainable results for your people and your business give us a call or visit

When you are looking in the mirror, you are looking at the problem. But, remember, you are also looking at the solution.

Jeri Quinn

Jeri Quinn from Driving Improved Results is an executive coach, management consultant, speaker and author who focuses on communication in her work with executives and companies. She is the author of The Customer Loyalty Playbook, 12 Game Strategies to Drive Improved Results in Your Business. With more than 40 years as a serial entrepreneur.

Quinn has worked with executives and teams in over 40 industries, spoken at major business expos including New York City’s Javits Center, facilitated business development and extraordinary customer service at institutions such as MoMA and AIG, and has partnered with New York City, The Kauffman Foundation, Citibank, Merrill Lynch, HSBC, and Signature Bank to educate their clients.


She can be reached at:

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