Many people consider SWOT analysis to be something restricted for businesses only, it’s an analytical framework which can help companies facing great challenges, and it can help to find the most promising new markets. The analysis was created by business gurus Edmund P. Learned, Kenneth Andrews, C. Roland Christensen and William D. in the 1960s.
But think again… because SWOT analysis of self is as effective a tool as for any business plan.
Analysing yourself accurately in an unbiased manner is one of the most difficult feats to achieve. Either we end up being too hard on ourselves or too easy. When it comes to analysis, SWOT is one of the most used assessment tools.
Simply put, SWOT Analysis is a process of measuring your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats at present. Carrying out a SWOT analysis of self can help you understand yourself in a much better manner. For personal development, in any area of your life, it can be a useful and manageable tool. It can help you assess your performance against your goal for yourself in different areas of life such as career, relationships and skill development. You can use the result for your personality development by sustaining your strengths and building upon the opportunities while you have to curb the weaknesses and threats.
Many people think that conducting a SWOT analysis of self is a very easy thing to do. This is where most of them are mistaken. Before you grab a pen and paper, and jot down the first basic things coming in your mind, you need to observe and brainstorm. Carrying out the analysis in a hurry will be not of much use. You should keep your list specific, simple and most importantly realistic. If you feel the need, you can ask around for a general perception of yourself from other people before you start, but do not make comparisons with others.
Many people are often confused about how to go about sorting things in different quadrants when they are carrying out a SWOT analysis of self. The strengths could be your personal set of capabilities and resources that makes you stand out among others. Any habit or skill that needs to be improved or eliminated can be counted as a weakness.
Opportunities include the potential of benefits in the external environment due to current trends and how you can exploit them to your advantage. Threats to you can include anything that you think stands in the way of your success. It can often be other’s strengths that can be a threat to you.
The only difficulty with the tool is the authenticity of its results. Since you are carrying out a SWOT analysis for self, there are too many chances that the result may be biased. The results are subjective and vulnerable to the perceptional differences of each person. Moreover, lack of accountability is also a major factor as you may not have any motivation to change yourself.
SWOT analysis can be a useful self-assessment tool that can help you in personal development. However, the extent of improvement depends not on the results of the analysis but on your own motivation to change.