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Self-Evaluation: SWOT Analysis

Where do you see yourself in the next five or ten years? You do not need to be a top level executive to put effort into analyzing your current situation and putting into place a plan that will assist you in meeting and enhancing life goals. The key is making the decision to do it and then knowing how to begin the process.
We often hear about leaders utilizing the SWOT Analysis to put together a strategic plan that will help ensure the future viability of an organization. The SWOT analysis helps a leader to look at strengths and weaknesses within an organization as well as opportunities and threats that may impact the organization from an internal or external standpoint. Once the SWOT analysis has been completed, a plan of action can be put into place to help meet organizational goals. The plan is meant to clearly define goals, indicate how they will be met and who will be held accountable for the process and outcomes.

Any one of us can do a personal SWOT analysis. In order to determine individual goals and implement a plan to reach them, it is important to take a close and honest look at our strengths and weaknesses. It is critical to know the issues that may either help or hinder us in reaching our goals. It is also important to learn about the opportunities that are available to either change our course so we can more effectively meet our goals, or to become aware of more choices we have that can enable us to more positively impact the path of our future. Looking at threats will help us to change our actions and/or behaviors in order to increase the likelihood of meeting our goals and aspirations.

Just as a leader will get input from a team around an organizational SWOT analysis, having input from others regarding our strengths and weaknesses is critical when we are in the process of a personal SWOT analysis. Although difficult to do, it is important to ask others for constructive feedback about areas in which we can improve. This can be done by a survey or face to face dialogue individually or with a group. If the opportunity is available, it is important to verbalize that you have received feedback and that you are putting a plan into place to increase your strengths as well as work on areas for improvement.

With some exceptions, each one of us generally has control over how our life will play out. A personal SWOT analysis can be initiated, goals set, and a plan implemented. Be sure to share your process with someone you trust and who will hold you accountable to meet your goals. It is no different than being on a diet. When you are counting calories, it is good to let people know. That way, you are less likely to cheat. If you tell somebody you really trust to give you good, constructive feedback, the person may comment as you go to pick up your third slice of pizza. The same applies to the personal SWOT. Someone you trust will tell you when you are exhibiting behavior that leads you away from reaching your goals.

Conduct a personal SWOT analysis. You are the only one who can plan your future.

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About the Author

Maureen Wishart, Wish Coaching & Consulting
25 Evans Drive
Simsbury, CT 06070

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