As I See It

Leadership Material (?)

Last week I began an ‘Aspiring People Manager’ course as part of my workplace development. The theory is that after 12 months, I’ll be well equipped to take on line management responsibility.

The two days induction was cool. Lots of chat on our personality profiles and the kind of managers we envisage ourselves being in the future. We then examined the effects of body language on our teams as well as methods of communication.

I know it sounds simple but really, taking the time to self-reflect is very useful. I definitely had plenty to chew on.

However, I do wonder at times if I’m really cut out to be a manager. Coaching other people and giving feedback, negative or positive, doesn’t come naturally. Do I really want the burden of dealing with the complaints or disputes of other grown adults? Is the extra money worth the hassle?

This clip was used at our induction. I reckon it’s a winning tactic

Today at work, for example, I was on a conference call and I was asked for advice on how to create engaging content for a Facebook page. Long-story-short, I felt like what I was saying was so f*****g simple, just common sense. But on reflection, it wasn’t that simple, and I was very much taking for granted my years of experience in social marketing. I hadn’t considered the other responsibilities and/or the context of the situation.

On my lunch break also, I took a quick e-learning module on leadership and part of it was a ‘leadership self-assessment’. Various questions were posed around my ability to give praise, contribute ideas, dish out constructive criticism and lead in crises. I scored in the mid-range, which was basically a ‘maybe he can/maybe he can’t’.

Anyway, both things had me contemplating the business of being a manager¬†and a leader as I commuted home. I’ve not really had to do much coaching in my life. I actively avoid situations where I have to criticise someone’s work. Even the thought of giving praise is something I struggle with. I’ve always been the mentee, the receiver of critique and the occasional fist-bump.

As an INFJ (introverted type of guy), it is a learned behaviour for me to do things like speak up in meetings, offer my own ideas and back them up in the face of conflicting interests. Which is to say it drains my energy, where for others it creates a buzz.

I guess that’s what it means to work hard though. It’s not just about turning in your day to day effort. It’s about striving and reaching out of your comfort zone every once in a¬† while. I need to discover whether I’m happy with an ordinary life or if I have it in me to make a positive mark on someone else’s life too.

It’s a brave new world. There are big changes coming up at work in relation to my working relationships so we’ll see what the next 12 months bring.

Time to lead the way.

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