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Advice / Career Paths / Training & Development

31 Things You Should Know About Yourself

What type of environment drains you creatively?

How do you act differently when you’re in a group or team environment?

What do you bring most to your organization, and what should you really be leaving to other people?

These questions may seem a little strange—but we bet they’ve at least got you thinking. And they should! In fact, think about them enough, and their answers can uncover surprising insights about how you work and, more importantly, how you can work better.

Part of a set of “31 things every leader should know about themselves,” developed by business adviser Les McKeown for Inc., specific behavioral questions like these can help you hone in on elements of your working style that work well—or, conversely, that hold you back. As McKeown explains, “For most people, the key to becoming a better leader lies not in training or skills development, but in self-awareness. For most of us, it’s our blind spots that hold us back, not the things we already know we need to improve on.”

In other words, maybe you know you tend to get a little heated in a certain meeting. But you might not know that that’s due to certain triggers—who’s in the meeting, for example, or even that meeting’s time of day.

But by answering questions like What type of people do you fall for too easily? and When is the worst time of day for you to undertake tiresome work?, you might gain a little insight—and be able to make simple changes to improve your routines. “Your answers to the 31 questions will each have one of two obvious applications,” McKeown writes. “Either you’ll become more aware of leaning too much upon something; or conversely, you'll become consciously aware of things that affect you negatively, draining your ability to perform.”

Want to uncover your blind spots? Grab a pen and paper (or—we know—a Word doc), and get started answering these 31 questions today.

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