Explain Yourself. It’s a simple idea. Just tell me, who you are; what you need; what you want to do. Simple.

The problem is, that explaining ourselves accurately is incredibly hard to do.

We mostly aren’t very clear on who we are, what we need or what we want to be doing. And even if we do have some idea, we often still find it difficult to articulate this clearly to others.

In fact, often, the more we say, the further from the truth we get. And there’s a really simple reason for that: there is much more to us than simply who we think we are.

We all focus on the bit we can see - namely, what we expect of ourselves - and completely miss out the bits that really matter: like how we understand the world around us, how we need to be treated, and what fuels our passion and keeps us engaged.

So, what does it take to truly explain ourselves - and what difference does it make?

First we need self awareness, and some accurate data that gets below the surface of how we present ourselves.

For example, I may describe myself as being very direct and candid, but am I ok if others are very direct and candid back to me? For many (if not most of us) we prefer others to treat us with more sensitivity than we give out. Yet there are some people who need others to be very direct with them; they actually get uncomfortable when people fail to come quickly to the point and just say what they mean.

How we behave and what we need are often two very different things.

Not understanding this can lead us into all kinds of frustrations and stress reactions. But once we do understand, it enables us to manage ourselves, make our best contribution in different situations, and reduce our negative stress reactions.

Next, we need to know what energises and motivates us (and what doesn’t!) so we can make choices that align us with those motivations.

You may be good at something, or have done well in a particular subject, or learnt a particular skill, but that’s not the same as knowing that you love getting hands on with practical problems, or that you love keeping things ordered and running smoothly, or love helping people, or coming up with new ways of doing things.

How do we find this out about ourselves? Most of you reading this will already have completed your hoozyu so you will know how!

Take Denise as an example; she did her hoozyu as a teenager and re-visited her scores through the next few years to keep herself familiar with the insights. A few years later she secured an interview for a good graduate scheme and was able to present herself well and to explain clearly:

  • what she was like
  • what contribution she could make
  • what she needed and preferred from others and her environment
  • what caused her stress and difficulty
  • what motivated her and what drained her, and
  • what she was dreaming of achieving in the longer term

That was pretty impressive for a 25 year old! Needless to say she made an impression and got the job.

What might you be able to achieve, by knowing your own answers to those same points?

Explain yourself. It’s a simple idea, that changes everything!

Click here to download the Explain Yourself worksheet that guides you through your hoozyu scores and helps you to explain yourself.