I ramble. Looking back at this blog, it’s particularly evident I can say a lot but communicate little. It’s especially easy to get caught up in written word, but I’ve noticed that I do it verbally, as well.
To counteract this, I’ve begun an effort to be more precise, using fewer words, fewer embellishments. At work, this means asking precise questions and giving precise answers. In fact, there was a training course called “Precision Questioning and Answering”, detailing what a precise question/answer is and how, why and when to employ them. I’ve gotten the summary from a co-worker who has taken the course (they don’t offer it anymore; strange).
This is all part of a wider personal effort. I’ve resolved to learn in a more conscious manner. One skill I’m most thankful for is my ability to learn quickly through osmosis. But, it has meant my learning, since graduating from university, has taken on more of a meandering, whatever-is-convenient path. Many of us go through the 12-16 years (sometimes more!) of our lives in a structured learning environment. We don’t have much need to think about learning – it is, for better or worse, forced absorption. At work, I’ve been put into a number of fortunate roles and environments, where that kind of absorption, to date, has been enough to help me succeed, progress, and be satisfied.
However, to first, understand, and second, reach my potential more quickly, I need to take control of my learning. No one will force it upon me, again. Currently, I’m blessed to work on a team of superstars. It was no accident; it was one of the primary reasons I joined the team. I wanted to see these guys, whom I respect deeply, in action. I wanted to learn from their skills and experience. It’s happened, but only as the result of incidental interactions. Due to the scope and expectations of the team, working on separate swaths of the project is the norm, and the amount of time I spend interacting with my team is limited. So, I’m going to make an explicit effort.
I want to grow in three scalable areas: precision communications, developing clarity out of ambiguity, and leadership, motivation of others. In the type of work I enjoy, these will become more and more important, as my career progresses. They’re also areas with significant room for growth.
If you have books, readings, or courses to recommend, please give me a shout!