We love Post-its at work! Often we joke about just how different our strategy workshops would be if we couldn’t take our thoughts to a post-it note during a meeting and luckily in the work-from-home era there are Jamboards to do this online 🤓
I particularly like it when there is a creative way of honouring one’s strengths and being recognised for the skills that I work hard to nurture and use to support others in activating their own gifts.
I am also grateful for the great experiment that is life and that’s why I also choose not to take feedback too seriously because it is not meant to validate me as a person. Rather, it serves as a reminder of how well I am letting myself be authentically seen when I show up to work.
For it is when your true gifts shine that you know that you are on a path that is deserving of your time and energy. This is the way.
And what better way to learn this than from children who certainly know how to enjoy life and try out different ways of being. My young cousins and nieces are my greatest teachers because I am learning to be a better ‘adult’ for them.
Mangaliso, my youngest cousin is featured in the image attached to this post. The conversations and interactions we have together are equal parts entertaining and insightful. I am 30 years older than him and as opposed to being too protective of him whilst watching him play or when we talk about stuff, I like seeing how he chooses to see the world and interact with it.
Out of all his cousins, he says he likes speaking to me best because I listen to him. He also tells his mom that “girls talk too much on the phone” and “[we] are always taking pictures and that’s why we never have enough space on our phones”. By ‘girls’, I think he was referring to my aunt and myself and our regular long-distance catch-up calls. At eight years old, he is already quite the technologist so it is understandable that this is how he perceives our behaviour although I really wish I could tell him that all people have this problem, not just the “girls”😂
A management tip for leaders
Millennials thrive in collaborative workspaces where regular and constructive feedback cycles are embedded in an organization’s ways of working. These should not be purely linked to performance measurements alone.
I like receiving regular feedback on my work as it helps me to know how I am doing as I progress in a role and how we can all work better together to deliver on shared goals.
I have been in leadership and management roles for most of my career. Sometimes as a young womxn I found that experience overwhelming because it was a lot of responsibility to have to lead a team of one’s peers whilst submitting to the power dynamics that usually are at play in these kinds of relationships.
It is often worse when you are younger than your “subordinates” (sidenote: I despise the use of this word in the workplace) or if you are the only female and/or person of colour (i.e. non-white) responsible for managing a team that you experience just how much corporate organizational culture is set up to encourage your failure as a leader.
Sure, HR can book as many ‘learning and development training and ‘level up skills’ webinars for you and other managers, but to be honest; some skills are more intuitive and require practice at a more humanistic level. If you are not nurturing your humanness in other areas of your life, you sure as hell cannot be effective at managing other people.
My experiences as a manager made me deeply empathic towards others in such roles because I have been there and I understand how overwhelming it can be. I know it is not easy and a lot of what I had to learn and master as a young leader was social and emotional learning (SEL) skills.
These skills were certainly were not taught to me at school or at university, and I feel that there is certainly a place for them in all syllabi because, for a human being, they are an essential life-long lesson. SEL helps you get to know yourself better, and in turn, can help you relate to others better too, and perhaps even do your job better too.
I think we can all use a good dollop of that in our day-to-day interactions. Whatcha think?
- Permission to Feel: Unlocking the power of emotions to help our kids, ourselves and our society thrive by Marc Brackett, Ph.D.
- 10% Happier by Dan Harris
- If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t you Happy by Raj Raghunathan
- Any books by Brené Brown