Posted by: Aamer Safdar13 DEC 2011
Following on from my first ever blog comes the last blog for 2011 and then, hopefully, lots more in 2012 as my Leadership development programme really kicks off from February 2012.
In this blog, I am going to discuss some key nuggets of information that I got from our action learning set which was with 6 of us spending 40 minutes each discussing our projects and our personal development contracts. Projects are fine but what is a personal development contract I hear you ask… Well, we have to write some words about ourselves and then identify some key leadership development objectives that we have which are focussed on our own personal development. I will share mine with you later but first some important (well to me anyway) nuggets
In no particular order of importance, here are some key learning points that I would like to share with you all.
Firstly, trust and delegation… we’ve all done this whereby we don’t trust someone to do something to our standard so we just do it ourselves, can we really cope with all of the stuff we have to do if we don’t delegate to others? Are we happy enough if someone does something to a ‘good enough’ standard or are we all seeking perfection (and, for the record, I really hate that word!)
Next, how to deal with untrustworthy and difficult colleagues who have a different, often hidden, agenda to ourselves. Those of you who read my first blog will recognise these people as the ‘clever foxes’. Do you let them take the limelight, do you play them at their own game or do you play clever and come to an agreement while having a cunning plan in your back pocket in case they go back on any agreement? What about the colleague who just shouts a lot and wants all of the attention but doesn’t really want to change anything… Not an easy place to be and no answers from me either because this is one of my own development objectives!
Here’s another one, this time about communication. How to present an unequivocal argument, note the focus on the word ‘unequivocal’… watch the politicians on the news, they do this all of the time! This technique can become important when trying to get support for a change process that may cost money (which none of us have) but may save money later on, the old invest-to-save strategy, but how do you sell the idea to the money people? Yes, I did use the word ‘selling’ because this is in fact what we do, perhaps we just don’t think of it in that way.
One more about communication, how to massage someone’s ego so that they think they are the ones wearing the trousers but all the while it is your change initiative that is progressing. How to communicate with them, say by email, when they present a counter argument against your plan? Well, try this technique… say its an ‘excellent idea’ and you support their views, present some things they may need to think about in terms of challenges and then finish off by saying that it is still a ‘good idea’. You are still saying what you think is wrong (in your mind) with their suggestions but thanking them for raising them and effectively saying that they are still wearing the trousers. It may not work all the time but no harm in trying!
As for me… my learning points were defining and contextualising ‘authenticity’, ‘integrity’ and ‘congruence’ in terms of honesty, transparency, ethics and my own moral framework. What does all of this mean to me then? OK, so when you know something that others do not know what do you do with that knowledge when someone asks you? Do you say ‘I know but I can’t tell you’ or do you say ‘I don’t know’; the latter in my mind being dishonest or economical with the truth and the former being a difficult position to be in. Naïve is what was said to me and I need to learn how to feel comfortable with myself as we go through difficult times in the workplace and I am part of the difficulties in the process. Do I find myself embracing the dark side of change management?
That’s enough of the deep and meaningful thoughts for now. I would like to wish all of you who are reading this a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
I hope to return some time in February 2012 and share some of my thoughts with you again. Adios amigos.