I chose this book, Big Feelings, by Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy, based on the social media hype and discussion about it. Many will be familiar with the illustrations and comics by this pair of workplace and development consultants. This is their second book (the first was No Hard Feelings from 2019, which looks at effectively expressing and controlling emotions at work - still in my to-read pile). This latest book looks at seven difficult feelings that can emerge at work and in life, and is especially relevant in the time of COVID (when the dominant feeling was languishing). Published in early 2022 and subtitled, "How to be okay with things are not okay", the book promised to be immediately impactful. And to some extent it was, but ultimately fell short of my expectations.
As leaders, we have to pay attention to each of our team members and learn to hear what they’re saying – even (or perhaps especially) when they are not saying much. If we’re doing a good job of supporting and engaging on an ongoing basis, we’ll get to know our team members’ communication styles and hear about what’s going on for them – at work, at home, in their lives – and can incorporate this into our work with them. When someone who is usually enthusiastic starts to be listless or quiet, we are responsible for exploring that with them.
The Gifts of Imperfection is from Brené Brown – author, researcher, and personal growth magnate (and TED talk star) – and describes some of her own personal growth and reflections on self-acceptance, past guideposts of authenticity, resilience, creativity (among others). These encourage and enable self-reflection by the reader along a similar path to recognize and celebrate (not just accept) one’s own vulnerability and whole self.
I’ve started a new lunch-and-learn series, the first of which is about goal setting. This based primarily on my previous posts on this topic, incorporating some new ideas based on reading and reviewing my own goal setting approach. I’ve been making new year goals and resolutions, along with setting priorities, for several years, I’ve incorporated the anti-resolution approach to reducing the behaviours I don’t like or am not proud of. So far, around 100 people have attended and participated, and the feedback has been positive. My objective is to enable others to establish for themselves their own goal and resolutions and have a better chance of achieving those.
I’ve written previously about strengths and strengths-finding and cultivating strengths. When I first started focusing on strengths with my coach, I was concerned that I was missing something by ignoring (or focusing less, anyway) on my weaknesses. But this seemed to be standard in a strengths-focused approach. I think the thinking is that weaknesses are typically less about character and more about skills; the latter can be improved by training. Also, building on strengths is not about changing but capitalizing and weaknesses are (potentially) off-set by strengths and so will be overcome somewhat naturally. I think this latter point is incorrect, as ignoring or failing to recognize a weakness can make it worse or at least leave it vulnerable.
Who is Robyn?
My career as a research project manager is rewarding, dynamic, challenging, and fun. I'm looking forward to sharing my knowledge and experience in communication, organization, and common sense approaches in research management and leadership, and to enabling others to learn and grow in this exciting career.