By Adelle J. Dantzler, M.S.Ed.
Certified Federal Job Search Trainer/Career Coach
“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” – Maya Angelou
I kept this saying posted in my office for years and have never answered yes to all three of the phrases. This year I finally stepped out on faith and made tangible steps to achieve my goals. I did it this year with the help last year of an executive coach, volunteer opportunities with my professional association, and speaking engagements at multiple conferences. What I’ve learned throughout 2019 is that you have to define success for yourself. Through a year of introspection, learning, and new opportunities, I learned that the three phrases above can be affirmatively answered if you first define and explore each separately.
As a certified emotional intelligence coach (EQ-i2.0), I learned emotional intelligence is the basis of liking yourself. For over 3 years, I conducted emotional intelligence coaching sessions with dozens of federal employees. I helped them interpret what their scores revealed about their success in managing their emotions and the emotions of others at work. You must balance how you feel about yourself, express yourself, interact with others, make decisions, and manage stress to achieve emotional and social functioning, well-being, and performance. And, when practicing strategies to balance these five areas, you appreciate and begin to like yourself.
Liking What You Do
I credit my volunteer experience coordinating the 2017 DC Metro Chapter of ATD (Association for Talent Development) mentoring program and an amazing executive coach I met through the DCATD employee learning week activity “Sharpen the Saw” with helping me to explore what I really liked to do. As a mentor, I participated in the career planning activities and created a vision board and confirmed my interests, skills, and values through an assessment to create a personal mission statement and individualized learning plan to reach my career goals – federal training consultant and career & leadership facilitator.
Liking How You Do It
As a leadership facilitator in the federal government, I’ve used Strengthsfinder for leadership development to build effective teams and help others discover their innate talents to approach work more effectively. As a certified MBTI and FIRO practitioner, I worked with teams to help them understand their preference for how to do work and their interpersonal orientation toward others so they could work more effectively. Knowing my preference for how I liked to work and how I naturally interacted on an interpersonal level with others helped me narrow down the environments I would thrive in and the best way to work to help me reach my career goals.
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