Conversations with Myself: Do I know who I am?

Ice Cream Sundae

We all know the world we live in is made up of all different kinds of people. There are those who are humble and prefer to remain invisible and there are those who walk around filled with their own sense of self importance (the Narcissistic types).

In Psychology there are many assessment tools used to identify personality traits used either to match people to compatibility with a particular job or people in relationship with others or each other.

When doing a Google search on assessment models, I came across this one which I thought you might find interesting . . .

SCARF model of self assessment
The SCARF model of self assessment gives you insight into the five domains of the SCARF model, and indicates the importance each domain currently has in your life.

Understanding which of these five domains are key drivers for you increases self awareness as to why you (and others) behave the way you do in certain social interactions. Knowing more about your own reactions leads to better self regulation and gives you more options when dealing with other people.

The five domains are:
S = Status (people need to be recognised)
C = Certainty (people need to know how and when you are going to respond)
A = Autonomy (moving away from threats and toward rewards)
R = Relatedness (mutual relatedness and respect)
F = Fairness (to be fairly treated – works both ways)

The five domains of this model will help you to:
• Understand your own reactions and those of others
• Better regulate your emotions
• Better communicate your needs to others
• Make choices more suited to your own preferences

If status is your biggest driver, you are naturally competitive. You love winning but hate coming second. If status rates high in your life, you might need to watch your natural competitive spirit. You might find yourself continuing the argument simply for the sake of winning. Or you might easily be bored if the challenge is missing. You might need to remember to ‘just be.’

You are however motivated by a good contest so look for ways to bring this into your working and personal life. Competition is the norm in sales environments, the legal profession, and sporting clubs. Focus on areas where you have natural ability and can continue to improve.

If certainty is your biggest driver, you like things planned well in advance and you don’t like last minute changes. You have a natural affinity with systems and processes. You are a list person and often find yourself the organizer in social and work situations.

With certainty as your biggest driver, be aware that you may naturally limit yourself from doing new (and therefore uncertain) things, even those that could be good for you, like learning new tasks or travelling. You may also react very strongly when people leave things to the last minute or constantly change their mind. Remember they are not doing this just to annoy you!

To feel more reward and less threat with certainty as your key driver involves asking questions to make sure you are clear on expectations. Don’t wait for others to come to you.

When autonomy is important, you like being in the driver’s seat. You like calling the shots and don’t like being told what to do or how to do it.

Be aware that you may say no to things simply because they are not your idea. You may also need to remember to give other people the opportunity to choose from time to time!

If autonomy is your biggest driver, find ways to create more choice, even if you have to stick within defined parameters. Ask for where you can have clear autonomy so you can exercise this. And watch out for tasks where you have to follow other people’s orders precisely.

If relatedness is your biggest driver, you find it easy to remember things about other people. You always make the effort socially and hate it when others don’t. You find it easy to connect with others and love doing things that make others feel important and special.

When relatedness is your biggest driver, be aware that you may expect more from your friends and colleagues that they can give. You may find yourself easily offended when people don’t respond to invitations or get back to you with answers.

To increase reward and reduce threat around relatedness look for opportunities to connect with others who are important to you. This could be joining a sporting team, organizing an interest group, or phoning family at a certain time each week. Watch out for long terms situations that isolate you from others – such as working on your own.

If fairness is your biggest driver, you are happy if beaten by a better player but hate someone who cheats the system. People who jump the queue really get under your skin, but you’ll sign up to a roster that ensures everyone contributes equally.

When fairness is important to you, you might find yourself always speaking up for others when sometimes it’s okay just to let things slide. Fairness tends to dominate all areas of our lives, so in your relationships make room for other feelings such as simply caring for others.

To create more reward and less threat around the domain of fairness, look for ways to get involved. Knowing how decisions are made, or having a say in the process will help. This might be through a career in HR, social justice or policy creation, or getting simply joining in at a community level.


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