Intentional Leader: Look in Before Reaching Out

05 Oct


Week 1: Look in Before Reading Out

Relationships = successful, satisfied lives

In this day of globalization, more now than ever, we need to work together to provide our strengths and our passions in gaining effective and enduring relationships. Take the case of Luis von Ahn who re-purposed CAPTCHA to assist in digitizing books.

As one can see we are greater together than by ourselves! Yet, it is pertinent to also grasp a thorough understanding of our own strengths and weaknesses in the area of relationships. (In doing so, not via sitting on the psychiatrists’ settee but by appreciating other people’s strengths and weaknesses.) Working towards valuing oneself with others equally allows one to see the amazing possibilities and actions of accomplishment that can occur!

Relational Skills Competencies

In preparing which relation skills are my strengths and which are my weaknesses I thought I would refer to Dan Erwin’s eloquent work regarding the six important relational skills Generation Y people must have to survive in today’s world. The six important relational competences are listed below as well as my comments:

1) Proactive skills for seeking help. I’ll ask for help, yet knowing who to seek assistance is also important for more effective and timely responses.
2) Ability to identify potential mentors and coaches. I am lucky to surround myself with mentors and coaches from within my work organization and outside of it.
3) Capacity to initiate conversations with individuals who do not know you. Although I consider myself shy, more so a person who prefers to actively listen to conversations, reflect and then possibly engage, I initiate conversations with individuals new to me. Certainly, I could work more on this aspect.
4) Openness and skills for sharing your own experiences. Whether its in a Face2Face environment, on Twitter, via blogging, in an email, on the phone or through snail mail, I hope that I share openly enough.
5) Ability to establish relations of trust and respect. With actions and words, I believe I establish trust and respect in the workplace.
6) Skills for inviting feedback. Asking for clarity and feedback has been a focus over the past two years which is embedded, especially in the sessions that I facilitate. I feel I should reach out to my Learning Services team members more often for feedback.

What is true about me?
In building relationships, I am honest when I speak with others, yet may be afraid to speak up when I don’t know something, although being in my Facilitator position over the past few years; I have seen a change for the better in regards to the latter piece. Others can count on me to follow through and do what I’ll say I’ll do, I’m reliable and I’m empathetic. When I interact with others, I need to seek more time to understand and listen more attentively. The work this past school year with Cognitive Coaching and Fierce Conversations training have engaged me to build up my skill set in “relating” to others around me, both professionally and personally. As well, I do need to remind myself about investing time and energy into my most important relationships for at times, I get sidetracked or passionate about particular projects and don’t balance my time and energy as well as I should.

When I shared the above paragraph of information with another person, they encouraged me to continue to grow my relating and time pieces of building great relationships. They recognize my passion for my work but were clear in their direction to me that I also need to be relatable and mindful of time within my personal life. I am a wife and mother of 2 children ages 11, 15. With the grey area of 24/7 access to work life, I am trying to not feel guilty after ‘work hours’ to seek information and/or resources for work during ‘family hours’. Most days are well composed with that delineation, but I also find that as busy as I am on both sides, I do find that I need to ‘retreat’ and capture some “ME” time. This I do through exercise and reading.

I’d be interested to know where other people see themselves according to Dan’s six relational skills competencies. How do your strengths and weaknesses (areas of growth) show up in your relationships? As well, do you have any further advice for me?

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Posted by on October 5, 2012 in Uncategorized


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