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Using SWOT to Direct Your Next Move

Karine Rayson 3

Feedback, whether personal or professional, is something we often shy away from for fear of receiving negative information, but it's vital for self development and helping you to reach your full potential. 

One simple but effective tool is a SWOT - an acronym for ‘strengths’ ‘weaknesses’ ‘opportunities’ and ‘threats’. When using a SWOT analysis, you first need to be clear in your intentions and your objectives. It can also be used by individuals or as a means to assess someone else's performance. 

If you are seeking growth it is important to understand yourself, and that includes knowing how others perceive you. Often we think we are seen in a certain way but this can be tainted by our own bias. Sometimes we make a totally different impression from the one we intend. Feedback is key in ironing out misconstrued behaviour or the minor character flaws that we can all have, ultimately enhancing the relationship we have with ourselves and others.

Unless we ask people for feedback, we will not be privy to this insight, and we risk limiting our success through a lack of self-awareness. 

You can use a SWOT analysis to help you gain clarity around your own strengths and weaknesses as well as your opportunities and threats. When coaching for self development I ask clients to compile a questionnaire which they submit to a variety of friends, family and colleagues so we receive a broader perspective on a current situation.

To give you an example, one of my clients was experiencing difficulties with managing her team and their respect of her authority. By undertaking this self-analysis she discovered that her team felt they were not getting the recognition for their efforts that they hoped for which made them feel resentful. With guidance, my client was able to resolve this issue, improving the interpersonal dynamics and morale of the team.

Below I've indicated the types of question you can include in your questionnaires to give you a snap shot of where you are today and where you'd like to be in the future. It will also help you to identify the opportunities available to you and the potential threats that may hinder you from moving forward. 


  • What strengths do I bring to the team? 

  • What strengths do I demonstrate as an individual? 

  • What do I do well?  


  • What skills do I need to improve? 

  • What attributes do I have that may hold back the team? 

  • What are my areas for improvement - where are my education/training/skills lacking?

  • What would my boss or coworkers say are my weaknesses?

  • What are my negative work habits and personality traits?

  • What do I avoid due to lack of confidence? 


  • How/where can I apply my strengths? 

  • Which fields/professions would I excel in?  


  • What is holding me back? 

  • What challenges or obstacles am I facing? 

  • What unhelpful thoughts do I have about myself?  

Once you've gathered all your results you can transfer it to this SWOT TEMPLATE.
Feedback is golden, there is more gain than pain so get out of your comfort zone and embrace it!

The Crew Coach specialises in psychology-counselling, strategic leadership and management, helping individuals and teams overcome personal and professional challenges to fulfil their career ambitions. 

T: +61 402 065 101

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