Focus on what you can change

If you want to make effective change, start by focusing on the things you can control, starting with yourself.

Not an original thought, but one often forgotten. We spend lots of time, energy, and resources trying to get people to change.  “Why can’t you just do it my way?”  

Personality assessment was a more than $400 Million per year industry* in 2002, and one can only assume it’s grown.  What is the best use of these screenings?  How can we use the insights they provide to help our teams work through their daily challenges?

I participated in a leadership development program several years ago where we had several sessions on personality screenings and how to use them best.  Our facilitator shared a story of one client he had coached regularly.  The client would call into their regular sessions and ask for guidance on how to get his employees to change.  No matter how often he pointed out the “flaws” exposed by their personality screening they just would not change.

He had missed the point of the screening.

American businesses don’t commit time and money to personality screening and training so we can tell people how they have to change. Sure, the screening process can help us avoid hiring the wrong person, but the biggest benefit of learning about current and future employees’ personalities and work tendencies is understanding how we can change OUR approach to help them achieve their potential.  We can change our approach. 

One alternative to the standard serenity prayer is “…grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change; the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know that person is me…”

Do you have the wisdom to know the person you can change?

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This post originally appeared on LinkedIn on July 25, 2016

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**Volume 4, Issue 2 – Published as University of Pennsylvania Journal of Labor and Employment Law

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