Weekends for us often include the usual fun and joy of “jobs”. You know what I mean. Those wonderful moments in your life where the shed really does need painting or the driveway needs sweeping, or in our case weeding (I know, shambolic really). These are the fun elements that we count down to at the start of the week whilst we’re waiting for that HELLOOO FRIDAY moment. Seriously, please tell me I’m not the only one who looks forward to the weekend only to find that I have a number of household chores to work on? Everyone gets that disappointment, right?
Occasionally there are those tasks that crop up where I do have a moment and think, I can’t do that, I really can’t. This last week, it involved getting the heating working again after the long wonderfully hot summer we’ve enjoyed and the current cold snap we’re experiencing.
Following some recent home improvements, we had some new radiators fitted. All good there and they are functioning just as they should. The issue lies with one of the old ones. Never one to be daunted I wasted no time in bleeding radiators, playing with timer settings and ultimately wasting time by hitting a stuck valve with a hammer only for a YouTube video to politely point out that this is the wrong course of action. Putting the hammer away before my other half noticed it, I admitted defeat. I just can’t do central heating repairs. Fine, we’ll be cold all winter then.
No, that’s not an option is it? In moments like this I remind myself that there will be occasions where my own skill set doesn’t cut it. Every day of my working life I spend time with individuals and organisations discussing things like skills gaps, development needs, staff abilities and so on. It was these thoughts that inspired this latest ramble.
What if I just acknowledge that I can’t do something and look at alternatives as a workaround? I use creative thinking to design programmes so how could I apply that to this current issue? In the case of a broken radiator valve it’s a really obvious solution that’s necessary. Can’t fix it, call a plumber who can. Job done.
However, we can’t always rely on someone else to just pick up the pieces for us on a day to day basis. We do need to be able to think a little wider and look for alternatives. A good leader will acknowledge that they don’t have all the answers and so they will seek out suggestions in the room by working closely with their teams. It is brave however to take that step and openly admit that you don’t know what to do or how to act next.
Only by being truly open with ourselves can we start to embrace our own self development. Setting goals for ourselves to achieve is often viewed as the easiest step, but sadly is one that is rarely completed properly. We usually focus on the big-ticket items and hope to make a difference quickly, when this doesn’t happen we lose focus and end up back at square one.
To make sure that change can take place you need to take a moment to think about the following:
· What’s your starting position?
· Where are you heading?
· What markers are you putting in place to show that you are making progress?
· What will success look and feel like?
· What support mechanisms have you put in place?
Setting a goal is not as simple as drawing a final target and setting off in hot pursuit. Without giving yourself the time to recognise what the journey is going to be like or what you will feel when you reach your destination it can be hard to achieve what you need.
So, what’s the solution? Well ultimately it comes down to looking after that most important person, yourself. Only you can choose to take time for yourself. Only you can be honest when facing into what you can and can’t do. Only you can choose to make a change.
The good news is, help is out there. We work closely with our customers to support them in the pursuit of their own development aims. If you feel like you might need some personal support, why not get in touch.
The only caveat I have, is please, don’t ask me to help you fix a radiator valve.
Until next time