Recently, I had to complete a self-assessment. I hate self-assessments. I always discover that I have this weird brain dichotomy, where I somehow think that I’m pretty awesome and yet completely suck at the same time. So I have to wonder if my self-assessment reads as somewhat schizophrenic to the folks that read it. In any case, filling it out completely depressed me, because all I really remember about the comments I made is how many areas I need to improve. Bleh.
I have to wonder if I’m not alone, and if this might especially apply to geeks. I’ve noticed that most geeks have a knack for focusing on the negative. It’s like they take anything positive as a given, and only focus on the negative aspects of the situation. (Gee, no wonder IT & Engineering Departments can be just full of sunshine and light, eh?)
Most of my geeks (when I led geeks) tended to focus on what they did wrong rather than what they did right. (I have to wonder if our parents’ tendencies to focus on bringing up the B in handwriting rather than celebrating our As in everything else contributed to this.) Despite these somewhat dour tendencies, as a leader I usually tried to mention and occasionally celebrate the things that went right (if only to preserve departmental sanity sometimes. Well, my sanity sometimes. Oh, never mind.).
It strikes me that I would have had a happier weekend if I had treated my self-assessment as an opportunity to celebrate my strengths rather than mourn my weaknesses. Oh, sure, I undoubtedly have some GIANT blind spots for some of my weaknesses. But those are probably balanced with some giant blind spots for some of my strengths. Perhaps I’ll try that next time I have to do a self-assessment and party instead of pout.
Photo courtesy of boxercab.