The Week That Never Was.
What did I learn?
The good and bad thing about working somewhere for a while is that there tends to be an answer on the tip of my tongue for most of the day to day routine stuff. I mean, it’s great to have some experience & knowledge to draw on, but I can become an advice giving maniac if I don’t think too hard about it.
It’s bad because by mindlessly dispensing advice I’m depriving others of a coaching opportunity. It’s also bad because I’m reinforcing a dependency on me, plus, there’s no guarantee that I’ve got the right answer either!
So.. what did I learn? It’s important to make the space to enable others to think about their questions/problems before rushing to the end and providing a solution.
What held me back?
This week has honestly been a bit of a ‘mare. I made a commitment last week to laser focus on the important stuff and not get sidetracked. That plan did not survive contact with reality.
The thing I thought I’d fully resolved last week came back with a vengeance. And if there’s one thing I *really* hate it’s retreading old ground!
This week also seems to have been plagued by all manner of weird nonsensical technical gremlins including a server which quietly stopped functioning at precisely 6 hours and 2 minutes of operation for no good valid reason. I’ve spent a lot of time stroking my chin feeling profoundly confused and bewildered.
Truth be told I should have stepped away from some of these really baffling problems sooner and found a way to move them on. I have an innate need to solve problems — particularly challenging ones, but often feel like I dance on the fine line between tenacity and stupidity.
What surprised me?
About 8 years ago I did a psychometric test. Recently we were asked if we had any objections with sharing our tests with the rest of the organisation, primarily as a way of better understanding each other.
My first instinct was.. that test was done 8 years ago. I’ve personally changed a lot since then. I’ve got married. Had kids. Lost hair. Pfft.. Surely that can’t hope to describe me as the person I am today!
Surprisingly, it was still really accurate. The strange thing is, what I remember as seeing as potential weaknesses 8 years ago are now personality traits that I’m very aware of and how they benefit the work I do.
I think, as I’ve got older, I’ve grown more comfortable in my own skin and actually doubled down on some of my own closely held values.
- I am good at empathising with others and reading people.
- I don’t like forcing people to do things, I’m actually a bit of an anti-authoritarian.
- I’m pretty good at building teams and relationship.
- I sometimes struggle to recognise & promote my own positive contributions.
- I’m good at reflecting and learning from experience, I’ll never make the same exact mistake twice.
- Reflection can easily give way to procrastination if I’m not careful.
The me of 8 years ago would’ve been beating myself up that I wasn’t a loud extrovert who marched about and impulsively commanded other people to do stuff. Perhaps what time has given me is an appreciation of who I am and where I’m able to do my best work.