Discovering Your Value: the Surprising Power of Images

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Know Thyself

Preparing the Canvas

The process of generating my iStar psychometric profile, as described in a recent post Genius or Madness: Talking to Yourself is Good, with the additional element of journaling, threw up some unexpected learning.

So the second stage, the creation of my PlayPrelude iTag – a unique and holistic personal symbol representing and communicating my combined strengths and assets – I approach with a little more curiosity. Initially, if I’m honest, I’m not sure how adding a few images into the mix is going to make much of a difference – I’ve already done the important work in terms of how I see myself and the related reflection.

Well I was wrong! As requested I select the three power words that most resonate with me, and assign colours and fonts that feel right.   The process absorbs me quickly which Is not surprising  given my love of metaphor and my tendency to think in pictures. I hesitate slightly at the choice of the word ‘kind‘ but in the spirit of authenticity go ahead and select it. I pick ‘creativity‘ to reflect both my openness to new ideas and my passion for beautiful images to inspire and engage people. The magnifying glass is all about the continuous quest for a better solution, and ‘energetic‘ is self-explanatory for those of you who know me!

The Power of Metaphor

But it’s when I arrive at the image selection part that it gets really interesting. I find myself drawing a boot. Where has that come from? Why would such a picture creep into my awareness? I realise that although I naturally avoid situations that require hours of routine tasks to achieve an outcome, I am nonetheless a hard worker and so the ‘keep on walking‘ boot is about resilience and a desire to step into the shoes of others and understand their perspective. This persistence angle is new for me and very affirming. The globe jigsaw mirrors both a curiosity about people’s differences and a desire to collaborate. The words and images are in place. I shift them around to get a meaningful picture telling a story of joining up diverse people and ideas in service of work that is both meaningful and enjoyable.

The Missing Link

However, somehow there is still something lacking. The self-discovery piece is all well and good, but ultimately it needs to lead to a better appreciation of how we relate to others: the canvas is lacking context and my intuition tells me it needs to say something about my desire to hear appreciation of my effort and I choose the light and warmth of the sun’s rays as a background. Now my iTag is complete, for now anyway! I have a stronger sense of the value that I add, not as someone better than the next person, but as a person whose unique combination of strengths as an enthusiastic connector is instrumental in enabling people to better understand each other and collaborate with resonance.

My teammates at Global Team Coaches have completed this same exercise and I am looking forward to seeing their iTags and sharing the learning. I’ll keep you posted …

Questions to take you further

  • How could creating a picture further your understanding of the value that you deliver?
  • What words and images might you use?
  • What currently hidden insights might be revealed through experimenting with images?


Find out more about the work Clare McNamara does with leaders and their teams on influence and authenticity.

© Move Ahead Global 2016

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Series Navigation<< Genius Not Madness: Talking to Yourself is Good
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