Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Loved it; Loathed it

Did you do the exercise I mentioned here? I did it myself because the first person I am ever trying to train or preach to is me.

It was interesting. Marcus Buckingham (I recall) suggested that in an ordinary week an ordinary person might write down about 15 things. I wrote 14 (7 loves; 7 loathes).

He then suggested grouping the 'loves' and seeing what themes emerged. I guess you would group mine as communication stuff. I loved my opportunities for public speaking or being at meetings where I had a chance to make a contribution. I loved blogging and writing (surprise, surprise) and I loved a few sessions of multi-tasking, pottering or short visits to do specific things without urgency.

Thing is I also hated some meetings, a couple of social gatherings and a time when I had several short tasks to do.

What are we to make of this? Well it is a fascinating question and I've uncovered two deeper things. Self-understanding is a lifelong journey isn't it?

I like communicating without distraction. So if I have to preach or write I like to do that. I don't like having to prepare the ground first because it takes my mind off getting the subject matter clear in my head and delivering. I shouldn't plan, prepare, lead and preach at the same service if I can help it.

I like a point. If I am to be at a meeting it had better be there to achieve something or I get frustrated. I am not good at spending time with friends if there isn't a point. I had a great time with some people last Saturday night because the guys watched the rugby together and the gals chatted on the sofa about nothing (apparently) for three hours. My favourite meal out companion and I both know that when we do lunch we are in the business of each-other improvement in some way. That is the task and it sits easy. I can walk into a room full of people I don't know because getting some new names in my contact book is the point. I don't easily walk into a room full of people I do know at a party because I don't really know what to do. I enjoy throwing parties or hosting meetings because then what I do is hospitality.

So how can you spend more time doing the things you are good at?

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