How to Identify Your Constraints
3 years ago
Feedback Is Critical
A while back I was packing to go out of town, and two of the boys were sitting on the ledge of the tub in our bathroom. They were giving me a hard time about what I was wearing, and I turned and looked in the mirror, commenting that I was sure thankful that I had a full head of hair and looked as good as I did (they had really been harassing me). Of course one of them couldn’t resist.
“Well, Pop, you need to slip around back and take another look!” They both laughed until I ran them out.
Next time I’ll get ready by myself.
But it certainly illustrated a basic problem with mankind. We are social animals, and we need help assessing our strengths and weaknesses. Hopefully some of the people who will help you self-assess will be kinder to you than those two were to me. Mind you, I did get over it.
The fact of the matter is that self-assessment is an oxymoron. You really can’t accurately self-assess by yourself. Although it is a good start, your own assessment is only part of the equation.
When Motivation Meets Science
Years ago my company began a long and rigorous development process to identify personal constraints. We gathered and compared behavioral and attitudinal data from top performers in a variety of fields, including corporate executives, teachers, professional athletes, principals, stay-at-home moms, administrative assistants, construction workers, midlevel managers, salespeople, doctors, and ranch managers.
I wanted to know which traits they consistently had in common, but I also wanted to know what makes these people different from others who seem to perpetually struggle. So I took this a step further, gathering data on low performers as well.
As we analyzed the information, we were struck by the findings. Even across occupations, the top achievers had consistent patterns in common that distinguished them from low achievers. Combining this information with my decades of case studies and counseling notes, we devised a truly unique and statistically valid process.
I well remember the first time we compared data for high performers against data for low performers. The statistical differences confirmed all our projections and validated our process of measuring and quantifying behavioral attributes that were associated with success…and the lack of it.
Through all of this we have found twelve critical constraints that—either alone or in combinations with other constraints—repeatedly did the most damage to personal growth, relationships, and careers.
We have named them the 12 Most Impacting Constraints and will highlight them with stories and illustrations so you can recognize these behaviors in yourself and others.
As you read the upcoming blogs from our team of experts, take time to ask others for feedback on whether they see these behaviors in you. You may find that you have a few symptoms from several constraints or several symptoms from a few.
You may even find that you have only two or three symptoms from one personal constraint, but if these symptoms are found frequently at the “scene of the crime” in work and relationship troubles, then each one needs to be treated seriously if you truly desire to move forward in life.
To be clear, there are a few people who may not have a dangerous level of any of the constraints, but shades of certain constraints can surface, especially during times of stress.
We all influence and impact each other for better or worse, and understanding why we do what we do is a great start to helping others turn their lives around.