In my workshops, I often get people to rate themselves for different things and I get them to do it on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the best. Self-reflection is so important when it comes to trying to grow, both professionally and personally. It’s one thing to “hear” about the best way to be or the best way to do things, but when you stop to truly consider what your efforts or skills are in that area, it can be a real moment of clarity.
For example, yes, leaders should be good communicators; we all know that. But when you take the time to really think about how well you communicate (with your team, your colleagues, your suppliers, your customers), you might realise that there are real gaps or areas for improvement, or that you are closer to a 6 than a 9…
However, when I get people to rate themselves out of 10, I quickly throw out there: “But no 7s!”
Seven is a safe bet. If you’re a 7 at anything, you’re somewhere between average and great. When you say 7, you’re hedging your bets. You’re not having to truly consider your strengths or weaknesses. You’re not actually rating yourself with any kind of meaningful criticism.
When you remove the option of 7, you either have to be a 6 (so close to just an average pass of 5, mediocre, and in definite need of improvement) or you’re an 8, which is getting right up there close to a 9 or perfect 10. An 8 is often an uncomfortable place for us to be, as unassuming, hide-our-light-under-the-bushel, never-brag Kiwis.
I challenge you to say “no 7s” when you rate your efforts in anything personal or work-wise – your answer will be far more accurate and revealing.