“How much of the real you do you let come to work?” Lots of us don’t know the answer to that question, and many more of us are unsure how to help the real you shine in our jobs.
Genius, Power, Dreams – hosted by Andy Woodfield, Partner, PwC – was about discovering the strengths and the ambitions which we often undermine or disregard. By learning to harness these, we can start to build a career which accounts for our skills and aspirations.
We began by talking in pairs about things we enjoy and excel at, giving some relevant examples. Within each pair, there was a listener and a speaker who swapped roles after 15 minutes. As a listener you were instructed not to impose upon the speaker’s stories, instead letting them express their views uninterrupted – a task which proved quite difficult for a group of young consultants!
We considered our strengths and the enjoyment we get from doing things we are good at. Even though this is an often-prescribed developmental task (predominantly focused on improving our weaknesses), it is an activity frequently dismissed or overlooked. Away from our professional lives, we think about our strengths and weaknesses very differently and often very rarely. Being encouraged to think about it in a reflective setting reinforced the idea that personal growth often leads to professional growth. Once both participants had undertaken each role, we separated and wrote down 6 words which we felt described our strengths. Returning to our original pairings, we actively tried to question the validity of the other’s list. In essence, we questioned how we feel we are perceived by others. This formed what Andy called our Genius – identifying the things that we are good at.
We were introduced to the idea of a “perfect week”. Which events, spread over 7 days, would make your week perfect? For some it was as simple as getting a proper night’s sleep each night, enabling them to be fresh-minded and fully engaged at work, for others it involved specific events taking place such as a victorious sports team or having a success at work. Andy asked us how we would ensure those events are replicated as often as possible – how can we manipulate our lives to continue having that perfect week and therefore be happier? If we were to analyse further and act on these changes, we would do the things we are good at more often, establishing a cycle of improvement which will ultimately make us more successful. We would have far more successes throughout the week and, as a consequence, morale would be higher. Power is about replicating the things that we are good at and enjoy as often as possible, in order to reap the benefits.
The final section, Dreams, speaks for itself in many ways. What can you look back on in your life and say that you are proud of? What do you really want to do with your life? This section was about stepping back from the pushes and pulls of life and taking the time to consider exactly what you want to do, how you can make an impact, and how you can be as happy as possible.
We ended on a provocatively morose thought – “If you were to die tomorrow, and you were reviewing your life, what would you have done differently?” It is a question which grows in complexity the more time you have to reflect.
Try to recognise and exploit your strengths and what you enjoy
Identify ways to manipulate the situation, allowing your strengths to develop further
Consider where to want to go with your career and create a path to achieve it
Written by Oli Gill, Technical Consultant & Young MCA Digital Lead