Monday, April 19, 2010

recovering from the personal effectiveness course

It's been a couple of weeks since I went on the Personal Effectiveness Course, and I've just about recovered. No disrespect to the trainer (she was very good) the course content (some interesting insights) or the training arrangements (nothing like being presented with an assertiveness challenge partway through the day), but, let's face it, if a person has problems with assertiveness, effectiveness and so on, there is, by definition, a problem. Problems are seldom sorted out by a few useful insights; this presents the beginning of the work.

I have the usual issues common to operational, hands-on staff with training around "personal improvement". I feel it's sort of waffy and handwavy, dancing around the work without actually getting on with it. In this spirit I've set aside time each week to complete training that will improve my effectiveness and capabilities at work -- those clear goals and that work focus help me feel satisfied that the training is valid use of my time, but at the same time, most courses start or involve a bit of personal improvement.

There was the usual round of reprove/excuse/allow over my doodling during the session, but as you can see from the page below, it didn't really slow me down. So, what struck me?

The notes on trying to form a relationship is related to people (including bosses) feeling annoyed or overly distracted when people socialise at work. While the option of just telling people (or requiring them) to do things is available for a few lucky people, most need regularly renewed social connection to avoid awkwardness when sharing out work. Social glue becomes a lubricant to progress.

My bulleted list refers to the triple preventers of progress.
  • Me getting angry and frustrated,
  • people going silent,
  • agreements not leading to action.

I was looking for answers to these problems, and didn't really get them. I have a lot of tips and tricks for calming myself already, and I know about lists and faulty thinking and triggers and so on and so forth. This section of the course depressed me, and the "we instruct people how to treat us" doodle hits the crux of the problem. There was the usual discussion of family roles and how these direct your interactions as an adult. For some people, this is a revealing insight, but for those who grew up in difficult emotional situations, this statement can arrive like a life sentence; the abused destined always to perform their negative, reactive, limited roles, the abusers able to merrily carry on in intentional absolution.

I would rather believe that you can put away your childhood habits, those bad communication glitches learned from difficult family interactions, and learn to operate with other people -- colleagues especially -- as a rational, respectful and kind adult. That way, as you move along social connections, as you increase them, you can set aside childish things and ways of behaving.

course,self-help,personal effectiveness,doodles,training
P.S. I've included the picture of my cat because the internet requires kittens; the face of increased financial anxiety is something we all wear from time to time.