In order to know oneself better, one needs to do daily self-assessments individually or with the help of someone else. This may help one discover their strengths and weaknesses, understand their inner self, and find ways for improvement. For this paper, I interviewed five individuals: one schoolmate, one long-time friend from high school, two colleagues from work, my son, and one of my clients at work. Thus, this paper will help me discover some areas that I need to work on in order to develop my leadership capabilities.
Yanick Lamothe is my co-worker that I met in one of the health centers that I used to work at seven years ago. I interviewed her in person. When I asked her these questions about me, she said, though it was hard, she promised to tell the truth. I reassured her that she was not obligated to say good things about me; otherwise, it would not help me change my behavior to become an effective leader. She said, “You are very good in persuading others when you want to achieve something. It is the way that you approach people; I think that your humility and your values have a lot to do with that.” She said that I would be good at selling ideas and motivating others. She also suggested that I am a dictatorial personality because of the way I ask people for something. She recommended that I change in order to let the other party decide or come up with a suggestion. She thought that the way to go for me is to do what I want with assertiveness. She also said that I am good listener when it comes to communication. However, sometimes it is hard for me to deal with a difficult person, so I must find ways to work with all people. When interacting with others, I am very respectful and polite. She said that I am a good delegator when working with others; I like to divide the task so everyone has their share. According to Yanick, I am a big picture person because I tend to focus on important issues.
Myrna Janvier, one of my colleagues at UMass, whom I interviewed on the phone, said that I am a good communicator giving help and showing compassion to others. She further stated that she saw the light of leadership in me, especially by the way I acted in one of the classes we took together. She said that I am very persuasive and confident when talking to others about important issues. She said, “Yvette, you are not afraid to speak your mind.” Myrna noted that I communicated with others at their level to help them understand better my point of view. She also said that I am a good listener that effectively interacts with others. According to her, I am a liberal person because I accept all people as they are. I am detail-oriented and at times skeptical. In addition, Myrna said, “as a single mother going to school, working full time, you are a role model for me. I always talked about you to others.” She said that I am not afraid to take risks. She continued to say that I am a good motivator and I that am always at the front to help others. Myrna also mentioned that I always try to come up with a solution when people around me face a problem.
Vayamena Nemorin has been a long-time friend of mine since I was taking ESL (English as a Second Language) at Roxbury Community College. I interviewed her through e-mail because she is busy and lives far. This is what she said about me: “Yvette is a courageous, tolerant, and patient individual; she is also a good communicator and collaborator in time of despair. Three years ago, when the earthquake ravaged Haiti, people were alarmed for not knowing whether their families and friends were still alive. Yvette was calm, going around to the community consoling others. Also she came up with a plan on how we were going to support that destitute population short-term and long-term.” She said that I was capable of good, collaborative leadership.
Vayamena continued to say that, ”In order to be a good communicator, one has to be a good listener. Yvette is never too busy to listen to others and empathize to their needs.” When she came back from Florida, she called me every day and reminded me that I needed to find a job. Therefore, she praised my patience and ability to get out of my comfort zone until I eventually found a job. She went on to conclude that I have a good sense of humor, which never lets me lose temper or think that a task is too hard to achieve. Vayamena thinks that I have the organizational skills and the ability to handle crises. She said, “Having others listen and follow through on order is very challenging; however, you Yvette have the potential and the charisma to fulfill the task with no qualm.” She finally noted that I have all the qualifications and stamina to succeed.
Marlon Massena is my good friend from high school, whom I interviewed on the phone. He said that my ability for long-term strategic thinking is evident in the choices that I have made professionally. My commitment to social services and the project planning reveal my orientation in the long run. To him, I am an action-oriented leader because of my communication skills and openness. He said that I have always shown a keen interest in the understanding of organization. Marlon regards me as a consensus builder, who gains support for her initiatives by creating a sense of inclusion and ownership with everyone involved. “You are able to motivate people around you to do a good job. I am very amazed by the patience and empathy expressed by you,” he said. He also suggested that I delegate more to others, as I often assume full responsibility for my initiatives.
I interviewed Cheryl Austin, one of my co-workers, in person. Cheryl said that when I am dealing with the situation that calls for immediate attention, I am able to handle the crisis and give direction. My communication skills are very good. I am able to translate the objectives to be fulfilled in a very precise manner. He said that when I working on a new project or concept, I always ask for clarifications in order to complete the project on time. He also said I am very good at motivating others, especially those who do not have a sense of direction or goals in sight of their present situation. He recalled that I was able to work through his traumatic experience and help him regain the sense of wellbeing. He liked that motivation in me. He believes our relationship has been based on trust and total respect for who we are as individuals. He stated that, “By working with you, I have observed the way you worked with your clients and were able to help them take charge of their own lives by delegating responsibilities to themselves and their significant family members enabling families to have upward mobility.” He emphasized that I really have a talent for working with others. In my caseload, he saw individuals that felt lost and abandoned. These individuals were hard to work with, they had traumatic experiences and could not handle their fears. Cheryl intimated that my compassion and patience have helped these families work on change and acceptance. He also praised my ability to set very clear and attainable goals regarding housing, education, and finances. To him, I was able to keep my clients abreast with unveiling perspectives. He also mentioned that my leadership skills are good and that I could better myself even further by taking leadership courses.
Nadia Jean, one of my clients at work, thinks that I enjoy researching and exploring avenues to help others. Nadia said that she is amazed to see how devoted I am to my clients, especially if they do not want their name on paper. Nadia has been in our program for two years and she said that I possess the ability to network with others. To her, I am very resourceful in trying to find good training programs, apartments for clients or those who obtained section 8. She admitted that my approach to dealing with others is very versatile. She also said that I am a very assertive and good listener, because I make sure that people understand my expectations. According to her, I always ensure that we follow through the plan and implement it together on our weekly visits.
Finally, I interviewed Jean Baptiste, my son. My son stated that I have a tendency to talk more than listen to what he has to say. He found that I am skeptical sometimes. He thought that I am a good communicator. He also emphasized that I am good at motivating others. He said he was not even sure where he would be if it were not for my motivation. He found it amazing that I am working on two jobs and trying to be a nurse at the same time. Jean admitted that I am not afraid to take risks. According to him, I am also both liberal and dictatorial when it comes to making important decisions. He said that I am a strong warrior because I handle two jobs simultaneously while sustaining both of my children in college. He thinks I should interact more with people outside of my work because I am always home doing housework. He said I should also have regular friends to go out with. To him, I am focused on the most important issues and make sure I reach the desired outcome. For example, when I have to complete my financial aid application, I make sure that I have all the documents and that I complete it before the deadline. Jean says that I can procrastinate sometimes though. He summarized saying that I would be a great leader, but I could still work to improve on some minor setbacks in my leadership style.
During the interview, I felt uncomfortable, so did some of my friends. They found it a difficult task to answer me honestly. I asked them to tell me the truth, because this was important for me to learn who I was from different views. I explained to them that I am in a school for leadership and management, so an honest response will allow me to serve others better. Therefore, I would say that Yanick and Marlon did well. It is not that the others were not honest. By doing this assignment, I discovered some areas that I need to work on in order to grow and develop my skills. For example, I would try to work better with difficult people and delegate more tasks. In addition, I realized that I often talk to people in a manner that I am telling them what to do. It is not that I mean to do it, it is more about the words that I use. Yanick pointed it out once and since then I have been trying to fix this problem. I am a little bit sensitive when it comes to making a difficult decision. I have to find a better way to do that by explaining to the individual concerned which decision has to be taken and why. Being a great leader has a lot do with one’s culture and values. I think all the good qualities that my friends see in me have to do with my culture and values.