Your Next Step

Doing a Personal SWOT Analysis

[Tutorial Tuesday]

Today we are going to talk about your strengths and weaknesses. We’re going to learn about a tool that is often used for projects or businesses that helps us identify where we can find opportunities that we can take advantage of. It also shines a light on some areas that we need to address, or we risk someone else taking away what we have.

The exercise that we are going to do today is a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats analysis. Most of the time, people will call this the SWOT analysis. Today we are going to use this tool to take a look at ourselves to see how we can grow personally and professionally.

The Work of a SWOT Analysis

On a piece of paper draw the following grid.

Then take four other pieces of paper for each area.

You will want to write down your answers for each area because it helps you slow down and think deeply about each area.

The purpose of this work is to think about how things ARE. Once you have an accurate picture of what your life is like, the next steps generally become apparent pretty quickly.

For each section, ask yourself the following questions. Write down your answers.

Strengths

  • What do others say that I do well?
  • When people at work need help, what are they asking me to help them with?
  • What comes easily to me that doesn’t seem to come easily to other people?
  • What task do I lose myself in every time I am doing it?

Weaknesses

  • What tasks suck the energy right out of me? (What tasks make me feel weaker when I am doing them?)
  • When I look around, what tasks can I say would be done 10x (or more) better by another person. (Have a specific person in mind.)
  • What comment on your grade-school report card would you say is still valid today?
  • What task, if you had to do it to save your job, do you worry that you wouldn’t be able to deliver on?

Opportunities

  • Think of the combination of the best three things about yourself. It could be education, experience, relationship, attitude, etc. What could you do with the combination of these three things that the person sitting at the desk next to you could not?
  • If you were to make a website that sold your skills and work, what would the site advertise? (Think about your strengths.)
  • What is one thing that you could do today that would teach someone to be a little bit better at something that is a strength for you?
  • What problem would you have to fix to make the world a better place?

Threats

  • Who doesn’t like you?
  • Who wants to make sure that you don’t succeed more than they do?
  • What is the worst thing that could happen to you today that would stop you from being able to do what engaged you most?

Reflection

Now that you have taken the time to do a personal SWOT analysis take some time to re-read your answers. Your action statement for the week can be constructed by answering the following questions:

  • Given the strengths you have, and the opportunities that you have been given, what is one step that you will take to turn an opportunity into a strength?

For example, You might have a strength of being a visionary leader, and the opportunity to start doing speaking engagements. What is one step that you can take so that the next time you do this exercise being a prolific speaker is one of your strengths, not just an opportunity?

  • When you think about the threats you wrote down, write down two people who don’t have the same weaknesses as you do who you can learn how they have dealt with similar threats.

You don’t have to fix your weaknesses, but you do need to have people around you who will be able to help you through and show you a way to success.

Finally

Knowing your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats is important for life. No one is all strengths. No-one has only threats in their life. Taking a moment of intentional reflection helps us figure out what action steps we need to take. I hope this helps, and I hope that this helps you figure out your next step.