7 Traits Well Worth Developing

 In Careers

As we grow and develop it’s not only our shoe size that changes, we also develop in lots of other ways, not least in the development of “character”. One of my former clients from several years ago recently asked me to provide her with a personal reference and this gives me a perfect opportunity to illustrate the point.

In my professional capacity, running a Career Management company, I am used to assessing and appraising others and over the years I have made a note of any significant character traits that I have admired in others and which I try to emulate myself (with varying degrees of success I might add!). My record of these has gradually built into a file of so-called “reference material”. From time to time I review my file and I’ve gradually distilled the traits down to about a dozen specific points.

The file is exceptionally useful when I am asked for a personal reference – and so it was this time.

As I complied with her request, I reviewed the notes and e-mails related to our professional interactions and I was struck by the words I was writing. The reason she has been so successful in her career is undoubtedly due to her attitude of mind and the manner in which she conducts herself professionally.

Then a further thought gradually dawned. As I compiled the reference I realised that all of the traits I had decided to include are innate and relate to personality style. However, much more importantly, all of them, with the exception of “creativity”, can be learned if we apply ourselves to an appropriate self-development regime.

See what you think. Which ones can you claim as true for you and which ones are you working on?

Of the dozen or so specific points on my “reference list”, these are the ones I selected and included in her particular reference:

  1. She always tries to be as self reliant as possible whilst being an enthusiastic and well-motivated team leader: she is very self-motivated.
  2. She has developed a high level of interpersonal skills so that she is very good at building relationships with others.
  3. She always leaves people and things better than she found them: she is particularly conscientious.
  4. She will work hard and over long hours until tough problems are solved: she doesn’t like loose ends.
  5. She is very creative and has a natural tendency to do more than is expected of her.
  6. She has the ability to drive a project forward: she is innately proactive – you don’t have to wind her up, she’s got her own batteries!
  7. She has the right balance between patience and firmness.

How did you do? Did you recognize any of them in yourself or in colleagues you may admire or aspire to be like? How successful are they in their lives?

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