What a massive topic this is. I’m a recent addition to the Congregation unconference, but it has been so thought-provoking for me, and this year’s theme is no exception. It is a bit daunting to take on such a broad subject. Do I write about corporate purposes? The broader meaning of life? About porpoise, through a Monty-Pythonesque misunderstanding? (That would probably constitute a cross-purpose.)
To narrow the scope, I’ve been thinking about the articulated purpose of my life. And how long it has taken me to arrive at what I want to achieve with my time.
Our lives at home and work are full of distracting noise. We surround ourselves with activities and gadgets that actively discourage thinking. This lack of space for thought is often compounded by an unrelenting series of tasks and meetings in a work environment. As I continue to work on my management skills, one area of focus that has echoed for years in my brain is the need to help others develop insights from their experience. I firmly believe that this should be a primary focus for all managers. So how do we do this?
Where I work, and, I suspect, in many other workplaces, it’s that time of the year again – mid-year performance feedback is underway. For some of us, it’s a time of dread. For others, it can be something to look forward to. And often, it’s a non-event, and not for a good reason. One of the things we can do as managers and leaders is making feedback an event to look forward to by bringing our SCARF to bear.
From a team perspective, psychological safety is the bedrock that team success is built on. Successful interpersonal relationships depend on it. In highly functioning teams it often doesn’t get a mention. Safety is one of those things not always noticed when present but is conspicuous by its absence. What follows are some suggestions on how to make your team feel safe enough to tell you things you don’t want to hear.
How many days have you had that have passed in a whirlwind of activity, stress and noise, and looking back you felt you could have done better? How many conversations have you been through that at the end you felt you might have let yourself down?
We all have behaviour patterns that are unhelpful, and we sometimes engage in that behaviour to the detriment of ourselves and others. However, every day is filled with opportunities to reset.- 86,400 seconds each represent an opportunity. If we’re awake for 2/3 of that time, that gives us more than 57,600 opportunities to stop and hit reset when things are not going well. We just need to recognise those opportunities and take them.