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3. Mining Successes and Setbacks for Self-Improvement
Introduction 00Back to Table of Contents
You’ve made it through your first semester of 1L. Take a moment to celebrate your success in navigating the important transition from being an untested novice to becoming a savvier and more seasoned law student. Utilize this report to help you reflect on your journey thus far. Your experiences, positive and negative, formal and informal, in class and out, are a wealth of useful information. The tools in this report help you uncover important data about yourself that can make this semester and all subsequent semesters that much more productive and satisfying.
Armed with increased self-knowledge about your personal style and distinctive qualities, things feel more understandable and therefore manageable. Challenges are seen with greater perspective and may be bit easier to handle. Interactions may go a bit more smoothly. Your career search will be a bit more directed and purposeful and your decision making will be a bit more sure-footed. It is also likely that developing your self-awareness will help you handle setbacks with greater aplomb and make it possible for you to get back on track a bit more quickly when things – inevitably – don’t go exactly as planned.
Cognitive Super Power - Expanded 01Back to Table of Contents
This section describes your Superpower; your dominant, "go to" behavior that is so natural, fast, and easy to access, you may not even know you have or are using it.
- Compelled to help by making certain everything is accurate and logically consistent
- Does everything in her power to ensure things are properly categorized, sorted, identified and labeled
- Beth may sometimes be overly critical in an earnest attempt to help and make things better
- She loves analyzing to uncover the one most perfect solution to a problem
- Beth typically thinks all problems can and should be solved by logic and reasoning
Beth understands logic and analyzes or figures out the essential principles. That is what Super Analyzing is all about. Those with this superpower are constantly evaluating, defining, and identifying if something is correct or incorrect based on the sophisticated logical models and complex mental concepts they use.
For Beth it is very frustrating that most other people do not logically analyze or figure out their decisions. She often can't turn off the need to analyze things. Those with Super Analyzing are often dismayed because almost the entire world seems illogical or 'stupid' to them.
Her sophisticated analysis can sometimes result in a fairly biting wit. And when overused this can result in a perfectionist approach and evaluation of both herself and those around her.
It is also this constant mental sharpening that results in amazing progress on any problem that can be analyzed and solved by principles. Beth often thinks all problems can and should be solved by logic and reasoning.
Original work by: Sterling Bates Gene Bellotti © Step Research Corporation
Distinctive Qualities 02Back to Table of Contents
Based on your results on the Sheffield Assessment, this chapter shows your most distinctive, "stand out" characteristics relative to the attorneys in our database.
We have ranked your scores on each of the 22 traits from the Sheffield Assessment in terms of how distinguishable they are from the scores of the attorneys, representing 24 different practice areas and 6 work settings, in our sample. Based on that ranking, this chapter highlights several traits where your scores could make you “stand out” from the crowd. If you want to see your scores on all 22 traits relative to satisfied attorneys in our world-wide database, you can find them in the chapter Legal Trait Analysis.
As much as we seek to measure everything perfectly, that's not actually possible. Indeed, no matter how good the Sheffield is, it is not able to predict whether you can or will be successful or satisfied in any particular work setting. Therefore, it's still incumbent upon you, as the expert on yourself, to look at the qualities and determine how important the opportunity to exercise them at work is to you.
For qualities you don’t place much weight on, knowing that they are less likely to be represented in a particular setting may not have much of an impact on how eager or interested you are to explore that work setting further. But for those you do care about, knowing how likely it is that these qualities will be well-represented can be useful information in helping you to prioritize which work settings to investigate first. Moreover, when there is a mismatch between the qualities that are important to you and what’s representative in an otherwise appealing setting, this information can help you anticipate the need to “sell” the value of these qualities, as well as to look for other avenues in which you can gain the satisfaction of using them.
Beth is likely to take initiative on tasks without requiring instruction or supervision. Typically proactive and independent, Beth can usually recognize what tasks need to be done, develop a plan for addressing them, and work towards their completion. However, a key to success is being aware of and responsive to the expectations of important others – even or especially if they hold a different perspective. Beth may want to include regular check-ins to ensure that whatever she has decided to focus on is moving things in the right direction.
Beth prefers to drive projects forward and does so comfortably without getting input from others. However, she may need to watch that she doesn't disregard important norms, rules, or procedures that others hold dear, even if Beth may fail to see their merit. Moderation and restraint can be important behaviors for Beth to cultivate. Beth can try stepping back and examining situations more closely and carefully before getting going.
Beth tends to set goals and strive to control her circumstances. Spending time thinking about her future and determining a path to get there is typically second nature for Beth, helping her to achieve her goals. Although having a planful nature can be effective in many circumstances, Beth should be careful not to structure her life so tightly that she cannot respond to changes that will inevitably come. Adopting a more flexible mindset and building in some “wiggle room” to her schedule helps Beth position herself to respond more skillfully to unforeseen issues and be open to or even embrace unexpected opportunities.
Beth’s drive to manage her life and career, set goals, and work her plan usually promises that milestones get realized. Her resolve and determination are admirable but if not managed carefully, can keep Beth stuck; confining her to following the letter of her plan rather than operating out of the spirit of it. Without some attention to this inclination, Beth may find herself unable to take advantage of spontaneous opportunities to learn and grow because they aren’t on the schedule. Beth would do well to occasionally ask herself if her plans and goals are still as appropriate as they were in the beginning. If not, Beth would do well to reflect on what has changed, and what she might have missed by being so single-minded.
Beth shines when able to work in predictable environments, using established methods and known approaches to get things done. This fits well with work areas that are more stable and systematic in nature. Able to follow procedures faithfully, Beth can be counted on to cross all the “t’s” and dot all the “i’s,” ensuring rules and routines are respected and traditions are honored. What’s practical, how things work, or could be applied tends to be favored over what things might, or could, mean. This can sometimes result in Beth being blind to new ideas or lead to missed opportunities for improvements.
Beth may need to balance the tendency to stick with the familiar by making an effort to seek fresh or unique perspectives. Starting a new tradition, in which Beth seeks to learn more about what makes a project or person especially interesting or noteworthy, can act as motivator to keep her going when things feel unpredictable. Being willing to entertain and explore trends or possibilities keeps the lines of communication open, allows a more comprehensive view, and may provide Beth with a heads-up about changes that lie ahead.
Original work by: Sterling Bates Mark Levin Karl Schmitt © Step Research Corporation