Thursday, December 25, 2008

What did you learn?

When you are subscribed to various newsletters of leadership coaches like Robin Sharma, Brian Johnson (PhilosoperNotes, ThinkArete) etc., sometimes they are coming on the right moment. And here is the one i received some days ago... Connected to my previous posts...

Hi Aigerim,

We grow from the experiences that stretch us. Actually, we grow when we learn from the experiences that stretch us. Seems so obvious, yet so few take the time to reflect on our experiences.

When you are stunningly disciplined about your learning you create daily 1% wins. The small incremental improvements that lead to staggering results over time.) Being disciplined about your learning means that you schedule the time to think about your craft. It could be a post-project debrief that you run with your team. It could be quick review of the past month at a staff meeting. Or, it could be several pages in your journal. Leaders do this until they get to extraordinary. And, then they keep doing it.

Here are a couple of tips for getting the most out of your experiences:

3 Questions

For every experience ask yourself the following questions:

1. What happened? (Describe the events and the people involved.)
2. So, what? (What does this experience mean? Describe why this is important? Did this experience identify a strength or weakness? Did it force you to reexamine your assumptions?)
3. Now, what? (What will you do differently next time? What is the essence of this lesson?)

Avoid Blame

Sometimes it's easy to point fingers at others. Or become overly hard on your own performance. Try to get beyond blaming and understand why people behaved the way they did. Was the goal clear and achievable? Did people have the tools they needed? Was communication clear? When you focus on blaming people you miss the opportunity to change the systems, rules and procedures that can make you better next time.

Think Long Term

Sometimes the results of our decisions take a long time to manifest.
Look back on decisions you made several years ago and try to trace the consequences. (For future decisions use a journal to record your goals and assumptions around important decisions.)

Share Your Lessons

Once you have learned from your experience, sharing it is the best way to keep it fresh. Blog about it. Tell your colleagues what you learned. Discuss it with a mentor. When you have conversations around your learning you deepen the learning.

In Leadership,
Robin Sharma

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Personal recovery

That’s quite interesting to observe yourself after some period of time, how you as a person from time to time struggling with your own identity inside – with “I”’s inside of you. When one “I” is telling one thing, another “I” wants to think and act opposite and after sometime you see, who actually won. The better – positive choice you take for yourself, the stronger you become after that personally, the stronger you believe in what you are currently doing, the more connection you see with the future, the less people around you suffer from that… The easier to live then.

I’m feeling much better now, so people who were worried about me and my mood changes, can leave that feelings now… Almost for 2 months I could say that I was in down mood, I think that was the moment in my current role and life generally to turn everything aside. That were moments of a stress I have experienced – I even don’t remember when I have had it last time, maybe 2 years ago. I didn’t want to go anywhere, I didn’t want to see and talk to anybody, just spending time on my own, compiling “to do” list, observing, not caring much… but missing my close friends and parents of course. Being shut down inside of me… In these situations I think only some personal talks with your close friends can somehow save you, but the decision to overcome it is anyways on you only… We’re reading a lot of books about personal development and meeting challenges, and seem quite smart in overcoming the mistakes others did, but still when it comes to you – only you have to experience it and take the right decisions for yourself. There is a simple sentence, which took me around one and a half months to come to – ‘everything you do is worth it” and “take things easier”… Even if you do all your best and want to change something for a positive tendency, it’s up to people to grab this or not… anyways you did all your best.

I’m still the same person – smiling, positive, striving for excellence and caring… Just sometimes the environment you are surrounded from time to time may change you and your attitude, but in the end it’s up to you – whether you want to be changed, loose yourself or not… It’s maybe hard to understand, but that’s what I think… Just take the best out of people you are with now, learn, value your own characteristics, adapt…

The moment of being outside of your current realities – business trip, conference, visit to another country may help a lot in evaluating everything happening with you and it helped me. I remember, when I came back after Netherlands I still was feeling down and didn’t want to come back to the same routine. I had one sleepless night, when I was thinking-thinking and thinking about myself and what attitude I’m taking to the current situations, evaluating what to be next time… This moment was very helpful as a turning point in being myself again, enjoying my current role, place, people around me and taking everything easily. Morning came and it was already a better day…

On 2d December I became 23. That’s the first time I have been celebrating my Birthday in another country, in another style, with other people who are becoming my close friends step by step. Who am I currently being 23? A year wiser? How personally strong am I now? Am I satisfied with my current life?

I really love my team… I have never been posting about them, but I really appreciate that I’m part of it. For the second time in my life, I’m really thankful that I got an opportunity to work with certain people together for a year (first one was with my Executive Board of AIESEC Almaty). Our MC team is I think a team of high-flyers – people who always striving to be higher, professional in their area, trustful and you never can lower the standards in your work, because that’s not in our principles. I just love it…

Soon I’m going home for holidays and even if I’m really looking forward for it, but still afraid to “re-arrange” myself to other realities, culture… I think it will be quite interesting experience.

Wishing you Merry Christmas and Happy New year!

Musi-musi ja kalli-kalli

Yours Smiley Aika

Monday, December 01, 2008