Reflected Best Self (RBS) Exercise – Instructions/Worksheet
“While people remember criticism, they respond to praise.”
Step 1: Identify Respondents and Ask for Feedback
You are to identify at least four (4) people, in and out of the work environment, who know you well
enough to provide feedback on your strengths. Ask these individuals if they will be willing to
participate on your behalf.
By gathering input from a variety of sources— past and present colleagues, teachers, friends, family, and so
on—you can develop a much broader and richer understanding of yourself. Identify who is included in your
assessment, adding lines as needed (First name, Last initial, and Role; reflecting work & non-work settings):
Ask these individuals to provide information about 2-3 of your key strengths, accompanied by specific
examples of moments when you have used those strengths in ways that were meaningful to them.
E-mail is an effective way of doing this, not only because it is comfortable and fast but also because it is
easy to cut and paste responses into an analysis table as is shown in Step 2.
Step 2: Recognize Patterns
Search for common themes among the feedback, adding to the examples with observations of your
own. Then organize all the input into a table like the sample shown below. Stick to ~3 key themes.
Step 3: Compose Your Self-Portrait
Write a description of yourself that summarizes and distills the accumulated information. The
description should weave themes from the feedback together with your self-observations into a
composite of who you are at your best. The self-portrait is not designed to be a complete psychological
and cognitive profile. Rather, it should be an insightful image that you can use as a reminder of your
previous contributions and as a guide for future action. The portrait itself should not be a set of bullet
points but rather a prose composition beginning with the phrase, “When I am at my best, I…”
The process of writing a full narrative cements the image of your best self in your consciousness. The
narrative form also helps you draw connections between the themes in your life that may previously
have seemed disjointed or unrelated. Composing the portrait takes time and demands careful
consideration, but at the end of this process, you should come away with a rejuvenated image of who
you are. This portion should be 1.5 to 2 (of the 3) pages.
Step 4: Leverage Your Best Self
The fourth step of the assignment is to explain how the strengths that were identified could be put into
play in your current position (and/or a job you’re aspiring to hold in the future). BE SPECIFIC.
Please note: This tool is not designed to stroke your ego – it is designed to support you in developing a
plan for acting more effectively by leveraging your strengths and mitigating potential weaknesses.
Commit and follow-through. Later in the class, your teammates will be expecting you to contribute
within the areas of your strengths!
This is an individual assignment. The final length of the paper should be 3 pages total.
Here are the detailed specifications:
No less than 2.5 pages, no more than 3 pages
No more than 1” margins and no less than ½”
Line spacing no more than 1.5 and no less than 1.08