For a number of years I have worked with teams, parents and business owners I watch them:
- unravel the key to doors that have been locked for years
- pull down walls that have blocked them, for as long as they can remember.
- take huge leaps of faith and land safely.
The whole process never ceases to amaze me.
But the most amazing feeling is when you can take a moment to look at yourself and have one of those BFO moments. You know when you go, oh!!! I get it, I have done this before, this is how I do me in that given situation.
I love those moments because when I learn something about myself it can and does change the way I interact with others, it improves my ability to learn, it enhances my relationships and the experience other people, have when they are working with me.
All of which increases the success of my family and my business.
Recently I have been observing how I learn. I have been taking sometime out to notice what is happening when I am learning at my best and what I require to be able to learn. With this new knowledge and understanding of myself I am keen to explore new things and learn even more in 2012.
This new thinking has resulted in me exploring new skills and training I would like to experience in 2012. But the BFO I want to share with you today is around a conversation I had with a trainer and friend of mine. I had indicated an interest in one of her new programmes and she said “I would rather I you didn’t attend my training session because I have a fear you would take over.”
I was fascinated and interested. Eventually I felt this, at first I was hurt, then I thought it must be her lack of confidence. Then it hit me, I remember thinking OMG I have had other people say this to me before. They would say things like: they would feel uncomfortable if I was there. This was a light bulb moment, I am growing a business and yet I do something that makes people feel uncomfortable when they are doing something new for the first time they don’t want me there. MMM blimey that means I am the common factor. I have had this with my own clients when they are exploring something about staff issues and they say, yeah and my wife says the same or I don’t praise my kids either or I don’t like being talked to like that from anyone. You start to get a realisation that this is not all about the other person it is something you are doing to invite this response.
I therefore had to question what was I doing that made her feel that way.
I talked to my mentor and trainer luckily she was able to offer me some feedback on this given matter. Interestingly she had seen me do a ‘behaviour’ that could be interpreted by others as taking over. I had attended one of her training sessions many years ago and aligned my chair with the trainers, interesting in itself. I have no idea why I had done that, I thought I had selected the seat that was most suitable for my back. This way may well be the case, but I have noticed that I work/learn at my best at the front of a room where I can see everyone and I can hear clearly. So it would seem that I had positioned myself where I needed to be to learn at my best.
The really interesting part though is that despite this being my first day on this training and being a complete novice. When the other delegates asked questions it would seem I answered them.
How interesting as I explored this with my mentor and coach I realised that I have done that in many meetings and some of the responses I had from other people all make sense now. So I decided to explore this a little more. I soon began to understand that if someone in the audience asks a question. I try to answer it to see if I have understood the content myself. I am expecting the trainer to correct me if I have not. What I had no awareness of, was the impact that this behaviour had on other people’s learning or other people’s ability to present or train. There was also something about me hating the thought of someone else not getting the training and wanting to help clarify in another way that might make it easier. So I come from a place of good intention to help others and a fearful place of wanting to be sure I had understood it correctly.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank every one who has ever trained me for their patience and care to let me, be myself and learn how I needed to learn, and I am truly sorry if I made your job any more difficult.
Now that I know how I affect others, I can choose how I want to be in the future. I can also ask them how they would like me to be.
I can either explain in advance to the trainer and or group that is how I learn at my best or I can develop the skills to listen and ask those questions in my head or direct them to the trainer by asking, can I clarify my understanding here please. Wow such great learning.
Simple stuff but stuff I was so unaware of and in the past I have known that something did not feel right and I had known some people felt threatened by me. I made the mistake of thinking it was simply their lack of confidence.
When we take full responsibility to look at ourselves, we can then take on the feedback that others give us by the way they respond to us and we can learn about ourselves rather than blame them. It can be a really frustrating time when you keep realising that it all comes back to you and that is sometimes why people chose not to work with me. They want it to be other people’s fault or responsibility. They want others to change so they don’t have to. People who work with me and the rest of the team have the courage to look in the mirror and say what am I doing that is affecting this situation and what would I like to have happen. It is not easy but it is powerful.
You can really make a difference to your own performance and those that matter to you if you have the courage to take a moment and listen to your own thinking. Combined with the evidence of the responses you get from others.
Take time to understand what you, as an individual need to work at your best. Once you have clarified and understood what is happening when you are at your best then you can draw on the resources you already have. You can then enhance these strengths and create/invite the right environment to be conducive for that to happen more often.
When we formed the new Step by Step Listening Team we all explored what we need to work at our best. Each one of us now takes full responsibility for ourselves and can invite the others to give us the required resources/information/space or maybe time we need to work at our best.
By helping you recognise what you CAN do and what you need means that you increase in self-confidence, ability to think more independently and ability to take assertive action. ( We love these sessions as our clients start to take control, truly understanding themself and being able to manage themself is the first step to being able to manage others)
Are you in the trap of blaming others for poor performance?
Thanks for Listening