13 Aug An A-Z of Change: G is for Growth
If you make a change, you will undoubtedly learn something from the experience. But whether that learning leads to growth is down to you.
Let me explain. If I go to a networking event and find it hard to strike up conversations, I might take away the lesson that such events are awkward and I should make sure I avoid them in future. But if I consider the possibility for growth, I might instead learn that I need to develop skills in starting conversations or make sure I’ve got some interesting topics to discuss. It’s up to me which lesson I learn – and whether I choose to grow or not.
I remember one former boss early in my career who was renowned for a sharp bite and unforgiving manner. Many people tried their best to avoid him. I didn’t have that option so I decided to figure out how to build an effective relationship. Through observation and experience, I learned that he was a stickler for accuracy and logical thought, and that he loved to challenge and debate as a way of strengthening lines of argument. Taking this on board, I learned to double-check data, to understand the rationale for doing something, and to stand up for what I thought was right – all skills I use to this day. I also learned that this manager could be fiercely supportive once you had earned his respect.
The experiences that come our way as we seek to make changes will be unfamiliar and, as such, can be unsettling or uncomfortable at first. Without a growth mindset, it would be easy to shrink back from repeating them and never make any progress. That’s one reason why so many of us make such dismal progress with New Year’s Resolutions!
If you want to learn and grow as you change, try reflecting on questions such as:
– What went well?
– What is this experience telling me I need to learn?
– What would it take for me to feel more confident next time I do this?
As the unfamiliar becomes more familiar, and as you learn and grow, your change will become more sustained. Before long, you’ll be an even better version of yourself.