Fifth in a series that explains components of the Leading From Your Strengths profiles
Leading From Your Strengths (LFYS) Profiles are personalized, detailed 20-page reports which accurately describe your individual habitual patterns of behavior, thought, emotion, and communication. They provide you with sophisticated, objective insights and action steps about your unique strengths – data you can use immediately and long-term.
Teams, couples, families, and employers use the profiles in order to work together more effectively. Although the profile questionnaire is quick and simple to complete, it provides sophisticated data in a 20-page report in six sections:
- Your Natural Strengths
- Your Checklist for Communicating
- Your Ideal Environment
- How Others Can Best Lead and Motivate You
- Your Perceptions
- Your Adapted Strengths
How you perceive yourself and how others perceive you – particularly in times of stress – may be two different things. Understanding the Perceptions data allows you to understand your self-perceptions, others’ perceptions, and how to balance your emotions with both.
Perception = Understanding
The Perceptions section of the report is made up of two parts: Self-Perception and Others’ Perception.
Both of those lists have something in common: the concept of perception, or the ability to understand. This ability is acquired through the senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch). Your mind gathers information from the senses, then organizes and interprets it to create awareness.
In the case of the Leading From Your Strengths profile, perception refers to the ability to understand another person’s uniqueness, based on information acquired through the senses, which is then organized and interpreted.
Your Self-Perception versus Others’ Perception.
The two lists in the Perception section differ in their point of view from which they’re written. One reveals awareness from your side of the story and the other reveals an awareness of how others see you.
Self-Perception. While psychologists and social scientists debate how you form a self-concept, the fact is this: you have a mental image of yourself. You form that picture over time, based on interactions with significant people in your life, your experiences, and your increasing awareness of your personality, skills, and abilities. Keep in mind that you have lived with yourself every day of your life, 24/7. Others have not, no matter how close a relationship you may have. Even a parent is not with a child every instant, nor is the parent “inside” the child’s mind.
Others’ Perception. Other people likely see you differently, based on at least two factors: their personal filter and their experiences with you. Note that the profile’s list of others’ perceptions address only how other people see you when you are under moderate to extreme pressure, tension, stress, or fatigue. Their perceptions of you in normal conditions are not part of this report.
As tempting as it can be to try to correct others in how they view you – or make excuses while you’re under stress – if possible, resist. The profile data is not meant to be a wall, but rather a window.
How to Use the Perception Section
- Study the two lists. Which in the list of traits in Self-Perception ring especially true?
- Study the list of Others’ Perceptions. Ask, “Do I feel or respond in these ways when I am under pressure?” Ask your spouse or trusted family member to give you feedback and examples of how these traits play out.
- Consider ways to manage your emotions or counter your tendencies under pressure so you can be a more effective leader and team player.
The data gives you an amazing opportunity to learn to manage your emotions during challenging times and build healthier, more productive relationships. Use it as a tool to help you grow.
The result is a welcome favor from God: “Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding” (Proverbs 3:13, NIV).
And everyone – both you and those in your circle – can perceive that God’s blessing is a very good thing.