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SWOT and Self Awareness

It is better to conquer yourself than to win a


thousand battles. Then the victory is yours.

- Gautama Buddha
Table of Contents
SWOT and Self Awareness ..................................................................... 1

Session 1: SWOT and Self Awareness 1 ............................................... 2

Session 2: SWOT and Self Awareness 2 ............................................... 6

Appendix: Solutions to Check Your Understanding ........................... 11

Appendix: Solutions to Activities ......................................................... 12


SWOT and Self Awareness

SWOT and Self Awareness


Module Overview
The first step for a successful life and career is to be aware of yourself. Understanding your strengths
and weaknesses help you to know yourself, and consequently, create a self improvement plan.
No individual is perfect or is born without weaknesses. However, successful individuals are those who
identify the possible threats and make the best use of opportunities.
There exist certain tools, such as SWOT and PQI (Personal Quality Initiative), which help you to be
aware of yourself and improve your personality.

Module Objectives
Perform personal SWOT
Create a self development plan

Module Breakup
Duration
Session Name Material Required
(Minutes)
Session 1: SWOT and Self Student Workbook 60
Awareness 1
Session 2: SWOT and Self Student Workbook 60
Awareness 2
Total 120 minutes

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SWOT and Self Awareness

Session 1: SWOT and Self Awareness 1


Session Objectives
Identify the need to know yourself
Understand the importance of SWOT as a self awareness tool

Session Breakup
S. No. Section Duration (Minutes)
1 Need to Know Yourself 10
2 Introduction to SWOT 15
3 Case Study: Performing SWOT Analysis 20
4 Check Your Understanding 10
5 Summary 05
Total 60 minutes

Need to Know Yourself


It is wisdom to know others; it is enlightenment to know one's self.
Lao-Tzu, Chinese philosopher
Self awareness is one of the most important qualities that you can have, and developing self-
awareness is important in both your personal and professional life. It can improve your judgment and
help you to identify the opportunities for professional development and personal growth.
Self awareness:
Helps you to create achievable goals because you can consider your strengths and
weaknesses.
Allows you to guide yourself on the right path by choosing to pursue the opportunities that
are the best fit for your skill-set and preferences.
Makes identifying situations and people and anticipating your own reactions easier.
Allows you to make positive behavioural changes that can lead to greater personal and
interpersonal success.
There are various tools that help us analyse ourselves. This analysis not only gives us an opportunity
to know ourselves but also opens new avenues to explore while looking for a job. A person who
knows himself well and understands where his strengths and weaknesses lie is preferred over an
ignorant person during the selection process for a vacancy.
One of the common tools for self awareness and analysis is SWOT. SWOT is a useful tool for
understanding your strengths and weaknesses and identifying both, the opportunities open to you
and the threats that you face.
Used in a business context, SWOT analysis helps you carve a sustainable niche in your market. It is
a simple way to evaluate the current status of the business, future prospects and economic climate.
SWOT analysis promotes critical and specific thinking to enhance strategic plans and objectives.
SWOT analysis has been used as a business concept since the 1960s and has shown its value when
applied to organisations, management structure and marketing.

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SWOT and Self Awareness

Used in a personal context, it helps you develop your career in a way that takes best advantage of
your talents, abilities and opportunities. In this session, you will understand how SWOT analysis can
be used for personal development.
By doing a personal SWOT, you will be able to:
Identify your career growth.
Identify your personal effectiveness and productivity.
Recognise your potential which has not been identified so far.
Nullify your weaknesses and create a suitable action plan as a part of remedial measure.
Identify the various training needs from your weaknesses identified during SWOT analysis.

You are most likely to succeed in life if you use your talents to their fullest extent. Similarly, you'll
suffer fewer problems if you know what your weaknesses are, and if you manage these weaknesses
so that they don't matter in the work you do. SWOT is a useful tool that helps you do this.

Introduction to SWOT
For any work you do, your personality contributes a lot to the success of the work. Self analysis,
analysing the environment in which you work, and the real knowledge about the work are the major
factors that contribute to the success of your work.
SWOT is used as a common tool for self evaluation, where S stands for Strengths, W stands for
Weaknesses, O stands for Opportunities and T stands for Threats. This self evaluating
technique helps us to explore and understand our internal factors, such as our strengths and
weakness, and alter our external variables, namely opportunities and threats. The strengths are
converted into opportunities and the weaknesses are eliminated to avoid potential threats to our
success.
The following matrix explains the four aspects of SWOT analysis:

S = Strengths W = Weaknesses
What is your area of expertise? What are your areas of improvement?
What are the unique assets that you can What assets do you lack in?
draw on? What are your weaknesses as perceived
What are your strengths as perceived by by others?
others?
O = Opportunities T = Threats
What are the opportunities offered to What trends are disadvantageous to
you? you?
What developments can you use to your How is your competition better than you?
advantage? How will your weaknesses expose you to
How can you convert your strengths into potential threats?
opportunities?

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SWOT and Self Awareness

Case Study: Performing SWOT Analysis


Read the following case study about John to get a better understanding about SWOT analysis.
John is a software engineer who has specialised in Unix, C and C++. He is working in a multinational
company that produces application software products in C++. He is a very hardworking person and
performs his tasks with commitment. Besides English, he is fluent in other foreign languages also,
such as Russian and Japanese.
His area of work is system designing and debugging problems in coding. Most of the time he has to
work after the office hours to complete his tasks because his pace of work is slow.
He also realises that he has to improve his efficiency and productivity. Often, he finds himself unable
to handle multiple projects simultaneously. Sometimes, he ends up doing the work of his team
members, as at times he is not able to delegate the work properly to them.
His company has started to concentrate on Web engineering and has decided to create a new
product line using Web languages. John has no formal training in Web programming or networking.
Hence, he decides to take up a course in Web programming to prepare himself for the anticipated
projects he will be taking up in the future.
SWOT analysis of John
The various strengths of John are:
Good knowledge of Unix, and C and C++ programming languages
Familiar with foreign languages
Capable of system designing
Capable of troubleshooting
Capable to work hard
Committed to the task
The various weaknesses of John are:
Slow way of working
Unable to manage too many projects simultaneously
Lack of managerial skills
The various opportunities for John are:
Chances of becoming the Project Manager
Chance of handling the offshore projects from Japan
Opportunities in object-oriented programming and Web engineering as the demand is
on the increasing side
The various threats faced by John are:
Lack of knowledge in other programming languages hampering his growth in other
areas of programming languages
Lack of networking knowledge
Lack of management skills, which could pose a serious threat if he becomes the
Project Manager

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SWOT and Self Awareness

Check Your Understanding


Question 1: What are the benefits of performing SWOT?

Summary
In this session, you learnt the following:
SWOT (S = Strengths, W = Weakness, O = Opportunities and T = Threats)
SWOT analysis is a useful technique for understanding your strengths and weaknesses,
and identifying both, the opportunities open to you and the threats you face.
In a business context, a SWOT analysis helps you carve a sustainable niche in your
market.
In a personal context, it helps you develop your career in a way that takes best advantage
of your talents, abilities and opportunities.

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SWOT and Self Awareness

Session 2: SWOT and Self Awareness 2


Session Objectives
Recognise personal strengths and weaknesses
Understand Personal Quality Initiative (PQI)
Create a self development plan

Session Breakup

S. No. Section Duration (Minutes)


1 Activity 1: Self Reflection 20
2 PQI for Self Development 20
3 Activity 2: Creating a Self Development Plan 15
4 Check Your Understanding 03
5 Summary 02
Total 60 minutes

Activity 1: Self Reflection


1. The activity is to recognise personal strengths and weaknesses.
2. Go through the Self Reflection Activity table given below.
3. You are supposed to read each competency, and then rate yourselves on the given
parameters. Refer to the Reflection Activity table.
4. The rating scale is as follows:
Often means all the time.
Sometimes means occasionally.
Rarely means hardly ever.
Never means not at all.
5. Given competencies (1-8) can be rated as per the given scale.
6. For example:
Work independently Do you work independently when your teachers or parents
give you a task?
Approach problems in a rational and logical manner - Do you try to solve your
problems practically and logically?
Build positive relationships with others Are you friendly with others?
Handle difficult situations - Do you easily get frustrated when you get a lot of
work?
Communicate in a confident manner Do you communicate confidently and have
convincing skills?
Plan and organise work - Do you personally plan your tasks, and then work hard
to achieve them?

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SWOT and Self Awareness

Focus on detail - Are you careful and take care of small details?
Show energy and enthusiasm - Are you optimistic and show eagerness to perform
given tasks?
7. The high scores indicate areas of strength, and the low scores indicate areas of
weaknesses.
8. All the above eight points will give you an insight about yourselves and also encourage you
to work on areas that need improvement.

SELF REFLECTION ACTIVITY


Rating Scale
Parameters Often Sometimes Rarely Never
1 Work independently

2 Approach problems
in a rational and
logical manner
3 Build positive
relationships with
others
4 Handle difficult
situations

5 Communicate in a
confident manner

6 Plan and organise


work

7 Focus on detail

8 Show energy and


enthusiasm

PQI for Self Development


After identifying your strengths and weaknesses, you will be wondering as to how you will tackle all
these problems. As you have identified your problem areas, it is very easy to weed out the problems
which act as threats, and also make the best use of the opportunities in front of you. There are certain
mechanisms that come handy to solve your problems. The mechanisms have more to do with your
behaviour or habit, and are useful tools of self development.
One such tool is PQI. You always want to inculcate some new habits or improve upon some of the
tasks that you perform regularly. In PQI, you identify various parameters to improve your habits. A
parameter is defined as the framing of few good practices that you would like to acquire and some
ineffective practices that you would like to cast off in your personal and professional life

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SWOT and Self Awareness

You can use the PQI tool to identify meaningful parameters and give you a simple mechanism, where
problems/improvement areas are the input and well-defined parameters are the outputs.
There are many techniques and approaches that can be utilised to improve personal quality. Adhere
to the following steps that should be followed as an approach to self-improvement:
1. Identify the shortcomings: Identify the defects or shortcomings that you want to improve
in yourself. List the improvement areas in the following spheres of your life:
Self: You may want to improve your behaviour and habits. For instance, you may not
be able to handle difficult situations and get tensed and worried quickly.
Family: You may not have harmonious relations with your family members or relatives,
and you wish to improve the same.
Health: You may have a disease or an ailment that you want to eradicate.
Social: You may not have cordial relations with your friends or neighbours, and you
wish to improve the same.
2. Set up measurement: Select any one of the preceding areas on which you wish to work.
Then, use a check sheet to quantify the problem and define it as clearly as possible.
Suppose, you select the problem I am not able to complete my work in time. Now, quantify
it in terms of the number of days in a week or month that you are not able to complete the
assigned tasks, as shown in the following table.

Check Sheet
S. No Parameter 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Week
1
1. Not able - - - - 4
to
complete
my work
in time

When you measure this quantity after a period of time, you know whether or not the situation has
improved.
3. Identify the possible causes: List the probable causes of the problem:
a. I procrastinate and keep postponing my work.
b. I do not plan and organise my work.
c. I get distracted easily.
4. Identify the root cause: Merely providing a fix to the problem can be very dangerous
because this may lead to permanent damage. Therefore, you should determine the root
cause or the main reason behind the problem.
5. List the possible solutions: List the ways by which you can correct the problem. Create a
detailed list. Even if you think the solution is impractical, write it down. Do not eliminate any
possible solution at this stage. Some generic solutions to some problems include:
a. Plan your work and avoid wasting time in unnecessary chatting with others.
b. Do not keep waiting to complete your work at the last minute.
6. Overcome the problem: Choose one of the corrective actions that you can take to solve
the problem. You should understand that waiting to complete you work only at the last

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minute will create a lot of confusion and stress. Also, you will not get any time to revise your
work and, therefore, may not be able to produce good quality work.
7. Prepare a backup plan: Prepare a backup plan that can be used if the master plan fails to
be effective.
8. Evaluate and follow up: Use the check sheet to check the status after you start
implementing a solution to a problem. Verify if the number of instances when you were not
able to complete your work in time reduces or not. If the number has reduced, you can
congratulate yourself. Also, you should continue to tread the same path, and before
long, you will be able to successfully complete all your work by careful planning and
prioritising.

Activity 2: Creating a Self Development Plan


1. Keeping in mind the Self Reflection activity identify 23 areas where you have scored
highly, and 23 areas where you have a low score. Reflect upon how you can improve on
these weak areas and create a self development plan.
2. Self Development plan are the measures that can be taken to work on the weaknesses.
You may refer to the PQI tool for creating your self development plan.

My Development Plan
1.

2.

3.

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Check Your Understanding


Question 1: Read the following statements about Rakesh Tyagi, who is studying architecture in a
college and place each statement in the appropriate column.
I get nervous when presenting ideas in front of the class.
I communicate well with my clients, friends and tutors.
The college is planning to collaborate with many companies who are looking for creative
and committed students to work on a part-time basis.
Working in an organisation requires team work I need to be better at this.
I have the ability to ask questions politely and find out what the client wants.
Many students have better communication skills than I have, and theyre all are looking
forward to this opportunity.
There are 25 students in my class and only 10 students are required for the part-time job. I
know I am one of the most creative.
Im not great at working with other people especially when I feel my ideas are better than
theirs.
Strengths Weakness Opportunities Threats

Summary
In this session, you learnt the following:
Personal SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats)
PQI for personal development
Identify the shortcomings
Set up measurement
Identify the possible causes
Identify the root cause
List the possible solutions
Overcome the problem
Prepare a backup plan
Evaluate and follow up
Creating a self development plan

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Appendix: Solutions to Check Your Understanding


Session 1: SWOT and Self Awareness 1
Question 1: What are the benefits of performing SWOT?
Answer:
1. Identify your career growth.
2. Identify your personal effectiveness and productivity.

Session 2: SWOT and Self Awareness 2


Question 1: Read the following statements about Rakesh Tyagi, who is studying architecture in a
college and place each statement in the appropriate column.
Solution:

Strengths Weakness Opportunities Threats

I communicate well I get nervous The college is Working in an


with my clients, when presenting planning to organisation
friends and tutors. ideas in front of collaborate with requires team
the class. many companies work I need to
who are looking for be better at this.
creative and
committed students
to work on a part-
time basis.
I have the ability to Im not great at There are 25 Many students
ask questions working with other students in my class have better
politely and find out people especially and only 10 students communication
what the client when I feel my are required for the skills than I have
wants. ideas are better part-time job. I know and theyre all are
than theirs. I am one of the most looking forward to
creative. this opportunity.

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Appendix: Solutions to Activities


Session 2: SWOT and Self Awareness 2

Activity 1: Self Reflection

SAMPLE
SELF REFLECTION ACTIVITY
Rating Scale
Parameters Often Sometimes Rarely Never
1 Work independently

2 Approach problems
in a rational and

logical manner
3 Build positive
relationships with

others
4 Handle difficult
situations

5 Communicate in a
confident manner

6 Plan and organise


work

7 Focus on detail

8 Show energy and


enthusiasm

High score areas: Work independently, Approach problems in a rational and logical manner
Low score areas: Build positive relationships with others, Communicate in a confident manner

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