Study Document

Reflected Best Self Report RBS Essay

Pages:10 (3015 words)


Subject:Personal Issues

Topic:Positive Attitude

Document Type:Essay



The work will help me find out my “reflected best self” so that I can scrutinize it to find strengths and competencies that can help me be the best version of myself. The results of this self-evaluation report will provide me with new insights into who I am or help me affirm observations I have made about myself. By definition, reflected best-self (RBS) is an individual’s cognitive conceptualization of the characteristics or qualities that he or she displays when they are at their best. Roberts, et al. (2005) add knowledge of how others perceive us to the concept of the reflected best self. This definition of the reflected best self is similar to that of self-schemas, which are cognitive generalizations of self in specific domains based on previous experiences that drive the processing of information related to self in social situations (Roberts, Dutton, Spreitzer, Heaphy & Quinn, 2005). After a presentation of self-concept and self-portrait, the principles of the reflected best self will be applied to the current workplace situation.


The organizations we work for, schools we go to, colleagues, friends, acquaintances, and family members provide feedback on what we are, and we usually absorb this information and use it to conceptualize ourselves (self-concepts) (Cooley, 1902; Tice & Wallace, 2003). The term “best” in this paper will be used to refer to the enduring talents, contributions, and strengths that individuals bring to situations. Feedback analysis is the “only way” to discover our strengths (Drucker, 1999, p. 3). Through interactions and experiences with people we know, and we meet, we form our self-concept or self-portrait of our contributions and strengths. Research shows that the perceptions individuals have about how people view them determines their self-concepts and not the way people view them (Tice & Wallace, 2003). Therefore, the methods used in this research use qualitative means to assess personal strengths.

Because to form a self-concept, one needs feedback from individuals who knows them. Feedback from people who know us well promotes effective feedback analysis along several domains including recognizing which skills we need to acquire or which bad habits we need to remedy (Drucker, 1999). To this end, I wrote an email to 10 individuals who know me to get their feedback. In the email, I asked several questions. Have I ever made anything helpful to you, your acquaintances, or the organization? What was it, and what did it accomplish? What character do you believe I showed in accomplishing what I accomplished?

The 15 individuals whom I chose for the experiment included friends, colleagues at my workplace, my workplace supervisor, and the manager of a small business I own. As per Drucker’s (1999) advice regarding soliciting feedback, I asked the 15 individuals for performance measures specifically related to my official job.

Because most managers are used to hearing about both strengths and weaknesses at the same time, talking about positive attributes alone often sounds very odd to them. It sometimes sounds false. A strengths-based approach can prove constructive and lead to improved performance. As Drucker (1999) points out, “energy, resources, and time should go instead to making a competent person into a star performer,” rather than stress how an individual falls short (p. 4). Instead of fishing for complements, the exercise is more about recognizing how others see us as part of the reflective best self activity.

Some individuals also worry that asking for information about one’s character can be taken as egotistical or presumptuous. However, once managers understand the importance of an RBS exercise, they are very willing participants. Asking specific questions proves helpful. For example, I inquired about whether I am a reader or a listener in interpersonal engagements, and also asked questions about my learning style in accordance with the Drucker (1999) research. Knowing how we learn can inspire us to seek appropriate and cost-effective ways to improve our performance.

Analysis and Interpretation

Upon getting feedback from the individuals I chose, I opted to identify common themes and trends in the feedback. I analyzed the information I got and to check if it was consistent with my observations. The analysis of the feedback and my observations is contained in a table (see Appendix). I expected that the feedback I would receive would include conflicting or inconsistent data/ comments. However, in contrast, the comments were pretty similar; they had uniformity. I had forgotten about most of the events, and things I had done that the individuals were saying were most helpful or impactful. Some of the events were pretty insignificant, in my opinion, but the respondents thought they were most significant. It dawned on me that some pretty insignificant actions people take can leave a huge impression or impact on others.

Analysis of Patterns

This exercise revealed to me my self-concept. It confirmed to me some of the strengths I thought I had. For this reason, I think it can help individuals who are not aware of their competencies to discover them. Upon organizing the feedback I received from friends and acquaintances and organizing them into a tabular form, I quickly noticed some common themes and patterns. The common themes I identified include a positive attitude, good listening, determination, leadership skills, and altruism (See Appendix).

The feedback largely confirmed the beliefs I already had about myself, especially beliefs about my strengths and qualities. Before receiving the feedback, I always knew I was empathetic. This is because I always felt the need to help individuals around me who seemed distressed even when it had been at my expense. Thus, when I found that the respondents thought I was altruistic, it was more of a confirmation than a revelation. Also, for a very long time, I knew I was a good listener. This is because I have been told so before by someone close to me. Therefore, the fact that some of the respondents confirmed it in their feedback was again, more of confirmation rather than a revelation of a trait I have.

Because I have been brought up in an amazing, loving, and happy family with positive parents, I have always had a positive attitude. This is probably my best trait. I always love helping anyone around me and looking at the positive side of life. Most of my workmates said my positive attitude is my best trait.…

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…referred back to the “mirror test” suggested by Drucker (1999, p. 6). The mirror test is essentially about ethics, which strongly impact how I am perceived in the workplace and also how I perform. According to Drucker (1999) the most successful individuals find that their ethics, morals, and values are reflected daily in their organizational climate, culture, and behavior. Leaders exemplify the moral standards set down in writing in the company’s code of ethics.

Although this reflective best self exercise and analysis does not include quantitative metrics, the results of the analysis show that feedback and self-observations can be sufficient to initiate change. Changing my attitudes and behaviors in turn impact my performance. When my work performance aligns seamlessly with my core values, I know I am on the right track towards success. My job absolutely aligns with my values, helping me to feel a sense of belonging. With a sense of belonging, I also know where I do not belong—which helps me to set appropriate boundaries (Drucker, 1999). Finally, the contributions I intend to make through my job are governed by societal norms and also my ideal self-concept. I see myself as being a kind, caring, compassionate person. Therefore, my contributions should be informed by my self-concept. In time, I will be able to impart my values and ideals to the people who I coach, lead. or mentor.


Common Theme

Examples Given

Possible Interpretation


· I help clients even if their budget does not qualify for the actual product they are asking for/

· I work in charity and spend my time and energy, helping others directly.

· I stood by a colleague who was in major trouble and helped him to resolve the issue.

I love helping others without expecting anything back.

I am selfless. I prioritize others. I like giving rather than receiving, particularly because of my positive attitude to life.

Ability to Listen

· I like listening actively and contributing when there is a need to.

· I like connecting with others.

· A friend noted that I handled a conversation I had with him gracefully even though they did not expect it and that this left a positive impression in their mind

I love listening to and connecting with people. I also love contributing ideas when there is a need for my ideas.

I respect people and, therefore, listen to them when they need to be listened to and contribute when they want my opinion or thoughts.

Leadership Skills and Determination

· According to one of the respondents, my best strength is that I am determined.

· According to another respondent, I am a supportive leader because I actively listen and provide guidance.

· According to another respondent, I have their respect because of how I conduct myself at work. They consider me their leader.

I am good at setting and achieving goals. I love challenges and defeating them. I love to take risks and accomplish greatness despite barriers.

Positive Attitude

· I lift friends up

· I view life and many situations…

Sample Source(s) Used


Cooley, C.H. (1902). Human nature and the social order. New York: Scribners.

Drucker, P.F. (1999). Managing oneself. Harvard Business Review. 83(1), 100-10.

Northouse, P. (2018). Leadership: Theory and practice (8th ed.). Melbourne. SAGE Publications.

Oysermann, D., Bybee, D., & Terry, K. (2006). Possible selves and academic outcomes: How and when possible selves impel action. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91, 188-204.

Roberts, L., Dutton, J., Spreitzer, G., Heaphy, E., & Quinn, R. (2005). Composing the reflected best-self portrait: Building pathways for becoming extraordinary in work organizations. Academy of Management Review, 30(4), 712-736.

Tice, D.M. & Wallace, H. 2003. The reflected self: Creating yourself as (you think) others see you. In M. R. Leary and J. P. Tangney (Eds.), Handbook of self and identity: 91-105. New York: The Guilford Press.

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