There are upsides to this pandemic. Like realising how resourceful, capable and proactive you can be whilst, at the same time, dealing with high anxiety, turbulence and stress.
Through our research at iOpener over the past half year of Coronavirus, we’ve seen impressive and consistent proof-points that you are behaving in a proactive way, at work as well as in life in general. This is termed agency in psychology. Importantly, it shows your ability to step up when the going gets tough and your sense of hope that the future will turn out to be fine. And that you can play a vital role in creating this future when you put your mind to it.
Having had more time at home and with close family, it’s natural that you’ve been re-examining your values. Your drive for agency has been bolstered by questions like:
- What do I want from life?
- What do I want from my career?
- What do I want to do differently / better / more of / less of?
Perhaps it’s the media’s persistent reporting on COVID-19, pummelling you with daily reminders about the possibility of death, causing you to ponder the notion of dying. Dying well means living well first. It means achieving your potential. And so, you’re working out what achieving your potential is to you.
Your agentic personality
Your ‘agentic personality’, as studied by Jim Côté at the University of Western Ontario, is defined as four interrelated traits:
- a sense of life purpose
- an internal locus of control
We’ve asked you to tell us about your agentic behaviors in several ways over the past months, through our flagship iPPQ (wellbeing and resilience) survey and our monthly QiS (Quick iOpener Survey). All four traits of your agentic personality show up in the collected data.
Here’s what you’ve told us:
- 64% of you consider yourselves to be highly resilient and only 4% of you consider yourselves low in resilience
- 25% of you have been feeling more resilient during the pandemic and 32% of you the same as usual
- 46% of you enjoy facing challenges, with a further 46% saying you do sometimes, not always. Only 7% of you report that you don’t enjoy facing challenges at all.
- 98% of you say that when things need doing you tend to be self-reliant
- 67% of you believe that you can influence events around you either a lot of the time or at least more times than not. Only 6% of you don’t believe you have this ability.
- 64% of you believe that, during the pandemic months, you have been able to be as focussed on task at work as usual, if not more.
When asked about the impact of the pandemic on your work life, you match the number of negative items with positive items. And, this is even though 94% of you say you’re currently experiencing personal, professional or a combination of both types of challenges. 22% of you say that your current challenges are overwhelming.
Achieving your potential is a core driver of human beings. And achieving your potential is not a static concept; but of course it’s a moving goal that helps set the pace of your professional and personal growth. As you tap into your agency, you’ll be propelled to stretch yourself further.
This is also what we, at iOpener, call Inner Leadership. The more you become self-aware and grow your self-belief, the more you’ll settle into your authentic leadership style. And this enables you to then lead others better.
If you’d like more information on iOpener’s Achieving Your Potential program for your top talent and senior leaders – now available as a virtual workshop – please contact me, firstname.lastname@example.org
by Katie Demain, Director of Leadership Development Programs, iOpener