In this first part of this series, I talked about the meaning and nature of self efficacy.
But in order to understand where you have self efficacy — and where you don’t — you need to do a little homework.
Here’s the assignment:
Take a good half hour and write out every skill that you think you have. List everything you can think of, whether it’s discovering aspects of the human genome or finding the best portabella mushrooms, dealing with irate customers or negotiating with health insurance companies. Include strengths that come from training, experience, and plain old innate talent. But include all the little stuff, too. E.g., maybe you keep a neat desk, get along well with your colleagues, treat dishwashers with kindness, run the copier efficiently, arrive on time every morning, or can do stunning mathematical calculations – in your head – during meetings.
Don’t write what you think you should be good at, by the way, or what you wish you were good at. Just write down what you truly believe you excel at.
Feeling pretty good? Now write out a list of the stuff you think you’re not so great at — whether it’s leading meetings, staying civil, processing invoices, keeping up with your bookkeeping, or keeping your kitchen area clean. Don’t beat yourself up — just be honest.
Here’s the hardest part: Since self efficacy is all about perception, you need to get a reality check on your lists. And that means you need to share it and discuss it with someone you trust. Maybe it’s a colleague. Maybe it’s a mentor or a boss. Maybe it’s a friend. (I’m going to hope that being a good judge of character is one of your strengths, because sharing this with someone who doesn’t have your best interests in mind could be, um, harmful.) Don’t automatically click off the page because I’ve asked you to share (!). Your trusted confidante may end up telling you you’re good at tasks not on your list. By the same token, she may disagree about your not-so-great traits.
In other words, you may feel better after you share with someone.
Tune in on Monday for tips on how these two lists can help you.