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Self Mastery

Topic tour guide

In a hurry? This page will take you through a brief tour of every section in this topic and will enable you to click on a link should you wish to read more.

Knowing yourself in terms of strengths and weaknesses against the Success Profile is our starting point for this section.  We included a number of activities to help you benchmark your own performance.  From there, we look at the three elements that contribute to performing at our best: confidence, commitment and control.  We call this operating in the C Zone. Next, we explore our purpose and values as HR practitioners.  In many ways, this is linked to commitment; however, our research shows that this is so important that we have included a standalone section to explore this further.  Finally, we look at a number of strategies for success.

What the research tells us

The HR practitioners that we interviewed believed deeply in the HR function and its value to the strategic agenda of the business. They saw themselves as equal partners with the business managers in driving success through the people agenda. They consistently defined their purpose in terms of their contribution to strategy and business performance.


Knowing yourself

Knowing yourself in terms of strengths and weaknesses against the success profile is our starting point for this section. We included a number of activities to help you benchmark your own performance.

  • Success Profile beliefs

Use this checklist to benchmark yourself against the success profile beliefs held by the most successful HR practitioners.


  • The success grid

From our research we have created the success grid. Each box describes a characteristic of success as an HR person. Rate yourself against these characteristics.


  • The life wheel

This takes a more holistic view – rating elements across both work and homelife.


  • Johari’s window

Johari’s window is a useful way of looking at the benefits of self–disclosure and self awareness.


  • Self awareness activities

This page uses the traditional SWOT analysis to get another view on how we perceive ourselves and how this compares with the perception of others.


The C zone: confidence, commitment and control

Here we look at the three elements that contribute to performing at our best: confidence, commitment and control. We call this operating in the C zone.

  • The C zone

We all have days when everything we do works. Things just seem to fall into place. You are more productive with less effort and completely in tune with what you are doing. This is what we refer to when we talk about being ‘in the zone’ or ‘in flow’ (C-zone).


  • Triggers

This section looks at which of the three Cs is most vulnerable when we are not at our best.


  • Identifying the components of self belief

This section compares two situations: one that went well and one that went less well and explores what beliefs were present that contributed to performing at your best.


Building confidence

The practitioners in our research told us that they had a number of different strategies to build confidence. We have included a range of different techniques. We encourage you to experiment with them all and find the one(s) that work for you.

  • Acting as if

This exercise gives you experience of changing your feelings to ones that would be more useful in a given situation.


  • Ways to change state

We tend to see our emotional states a bit like weather systems: sometimes sunny sometimes stormy but with no control over what and when. This activity gives us a way of taking more conscious control of our state.


  • Success highlights film

Make a mental movie of your success highlights so you can play it to build confidence when needed.


  • Confident behaviours

We unconsciously adopt different levels of confidence or roles with different people or clients. Being aware of some of these signals allows us to adapt or adopt a different level of confidence.


  • Internal dialogue or voice

Many of us have a critical voice. We tell ourselves ‘how stupid’, ‘you will never achieve that’ or ‘you messed that up!’ This page helps you to identify your voice and turn it to your advantage.


  • Confidence tricks!

Three different tricks to help build your confidence.


  • Your centre

This activity is especially helpful to build confidence for delivering a presentation or public speaking.


  • Your authentic self

Undertake this activity to get more in touch with your authentic self.


  • See the finish

This is a useful visualisation activity that will help you to ‘see the finish’. Especially helpful, when things are not going as well as expected, to get them back on track, in the moment.


  • Keep your chin up

This activity links posture and confidence. This is a really easy, but incredibly effective, activity to build confidence.


Building commitment

Commitment is about how much we want to succeed in a given situation or task and how motivated we are about it. This section provides some ways of checking your commitment and ideas to maintain motivation to deliver.

  • Check for commitment

A quick and simple tool to check your commitment.


  • Motivate yourself

Use this step by step guide to motivate yourself to achieve a goal.


  • Aligning your goals

This activity helps to ensure that this is an inside out goal. In other words it is something that you want not something you are being asked to do by others.


Building control

Control is the degree of influence or impact we believe we can have over any given situation.

  • Taking control

This is a great tool to help you feel more in control and focused. Often useful when things seem overwhelming.


  • Create a recovery ritual

One of the characteristics that successful people display is knowing how to recover when things are seemingly out of control. This recovery ritual gives a technique to do this.


  • Cultivating your support network

This page helps consider how you motivate others around you to help you succeed.


Purpose and values

In this section we explore our purpose and values as HR practitioners. In many ways, this is linked to commitment; however, our research shows that this is so important that we have included a standalone section to explore this further. Contained in the following section are a number of different ways to consider your values and how they impact you performance at work.

  • What’s my purpose?

In our research HR Practitioners told us it was important to have clarity of vision about what they were there to do. This page helps you to get clear about your purpose.


  • Alignment with work values

We are only truly committed when our values are aligned with our role. This template gives you a way of checking how well your values are aligned with the different roles that you play.


  • Congruency check

Have you ever felt like you were not truly committed to a task or project but weren’t sure why? Use this process to check a how congruent a plan or project is for you.


  • Your own values

This activity looks at the values that were most widely held by the HR practitioners in our research (in this case HR professionals). Part one of this activity considers which of these values you hold whilst part two looks at those you may not and how you can reframe your criteria to adopt them authentically.


  • Reframing conflicting values

This page gives an alternative way to reframe values.


  • Identifying your brand

A process to help identify your brand.


  • Identity matrix for self concept

The ‘identity matrix’ is a means of identifying a cross section of core beliefs about ourselves which influence the way we view and express ourselves.


Strategies for success

This section has a number of activities that will support you in achieving success.

  • The future is now

This exercise is designed to help you achieve your current goals from the perspective of the future. Once you can experience the present from the perspective of the future, you will realise that you already have everything you want and need to succeed.


  • Three steps to personal competence

Emotions unchecked can often hinder our performance. This page gives a process to help manage our emotions to achieve a positive outcome.


  • Benchmarking yourself

Benchmarking is the process of determining who is the very best, who sets the standard, and what that standard is.


  • Developing and using a support network

Successful people will always credit their friends, family and colleagues as vital to their achievements. This pages helps you to review and enhance your support network.


  • The success cycle

Here’s a simple four-step model to help you prepare for anything and prepare your team for high performance. This is a simple coaching aid. You can use each of the headings as a question to guide yourself or a member of your team through a new project or important event that you are preparing for.


  • Learning from mistakes

For many people, mistakes they make over and over again are ‘just me’. They don’t realise that they can learn from them and thus avoid making the same mistakes in the future. This page gives two ways to think about learning from mistakes.


  • Being accountable

Accountability is vital to the success of any HR delivery model. It relies on everyone playing their part and holding a mindset of accountability. This page describes how to recognise when we are not being accountable and includes a model showing the steps to accountability.


Quick and easy habits

The more often you practice these skills the more you will embed them until they become a habit. This section gives you a list of quick and easy actions to do this. It includes quick and easy habits to Develop yourself, Ways to use these strengths more and ideas to Build these skills with others.

Other resources

Click here for a list of books and websites for further reading and for a summary of other topics in the Success Kitbag.