My new University Class starts tomorrow, but I have been prepping for upcoming assignments and getting a jump-start on the reading. The class itself has to do with effective communication as a leader. Going through the chapter, it was easy to to label leaders I knew, this person was that style, this person tends to lead this way, etc. What struck me was the section on Self-awareness. There was a paragraph that screamed at me,
Emotionally intelligent people are keenly aware of their strengths, weaknesses, and desires. Those with a strong self-awareness are able to be honest with both themselves and others. They are aware of how their feelings affect them, other people, and their job performance. Self-aware people know when to ask for help, are willing to admit their mistakes, and at the same time are confident about what they can do. By sharing their imperfections, they underscore their authenticity.
Emotionally intelligent people. Wow! I always looked at people like that and thought they had it all going on, very mature, know what they want, and most importantly, I want to be like that. I think I have almost reached that pinnacle. I am keenly aware of my weaknesses. It isn’t kryptonite, but it is a powerful as kryptonite! I have a strong need to fix everything. Be the savior, the hero, the one who kisses it better. Letting other people succeed and fail without my intervention is incredibly hard for me. Having offspring has made it easier. It is important for me to raise children who have a strong sense of self. I know you learn more from failures than successes. By standing back and watching them figure it out on their own is easier for me then watching colleagues do it. Why is that? Why am I willing to let my own children suffer, fail, try again and succeed? I love sharing in their success! At work, I just rather do it myself. That leads to a heap of other trouble for myself. I am making huge progress in that area, but I still have a huge way to go. Learning to say NO is part of that. Learning the balance between sharing my knowledge and telling someone what to do is part of the process. So yes, I do know my weakness.
My strengths. This is harder. What I think to be my strength is not something others would recognize in me. I had a job reference once and she said I was practical. To me that was a HUGE compliment. It is an important skill to possess! Knowing the difference between possible, plausible, probable and impossible can mean everything in the workplace. Secretly I want my offspring to know that everything is possible. Time has taught me this has limitations as a mantra. I do believe in putting my dreams, beliefs and wishes out to the universe. Speaking aloud what I want, desire and need is important. It goes a long way to making the impossible attainable. But is that a strength? As I become more knowledgeable and experienced( older and wiser?) I find I am less tolerant of young University Students with no life experience telling me what I need. Yes this has to do with an incident I experienced this week. I verbally put her in her place by explaining to her the entire situation and letting her know that when she witnesses a snapshot in my week, she cannot possibly have enough information to solve my problem. Books teach many things. I have huge respect for people who are able to learn AND apply the knowledge they learn from books. However, life experience is just as huge. When I have a question about my studies, I don’t always turn to the people in my life who have a degree.
Often, who are we kidding, I have more respect for practical management experience then I do for those who have “book learnin’”. So I look back at my incident with her and think about how I could have handled that situation if I was her supervisor. It likely wouldn’t have occurred, however, what could I have done differently?
As I think about it, I guess my strengths are : Practical, respectful, I want to say flexible but I am not as flexible as I use to be, experience has taught me plenty. I have an ability to think on my feet. I feel my creative juices slipping away for practical things. I think I am okay with that. I can be creative in other aspects of my life. A big strength for me is new, and still in the practice stage. I take a deep breath and compose my thoughts before I engage in a life altering situation. I need to practice this when I have been attacked, but I am getting there.
Emotionally Intelligent. My new goal on my Tourist List.
Quote taken from:Brody, Ralph 2005 Effectively Managing Human Service Organizations 3rd ed. Sage Publications