I'm home from my conference. This was an awesome weekend. I, and a few of my colleagues, had the great opportunity to learn and discover some new skills and tools we can use in the workplace pertaining to leadership and helping ourselves and those we supervise grow.
It started yesterday early, and we went through a program called the 4 Lenses. We had to first look at 4 cards with pictures and put them in order of what we thought we were and rank them. Then we read the back of the cards and put those in rank order (some of mine matched, others didn't, with what I had previously picked). Then we answered 10 questions putting the four answers into rank order again. This all ended up with determining our color - or lens - with how we function in the world. I ended up a Gold - which is someone who is organized and likes to follow rules and structures. Shocking, considering the job I'm in. (That's sarcasm, for those of you who don't know me).
But in some ways it was shocking because as we went through some exercises I could really see me more in the Green group - these were the analytical ones, those who thought things out more. I really wasn't an Orange - those who like to have fun; I have stronger Blue tendencies - these are the touchy feely ones. I'm generalizing a lot on this because if I were to try to explain it this post would go on for a week.
It was a good exercise though. I do like structure. I like knowing what is expected. I like schedules and deadlines - they help me to stay focused and get organized. Some may question my organization abilities but as my college boyfriend said once, I am the Queen of NLPs (Neat Little Piles).
That took up most of Saturday. Then we had some down time and then a banquet. After the meal a hypnotist came and had a show for us. He ended up with 4 participants who stayed under the entire time of his show and that was a hoot. I wanted to try it and I started to see if I could while sitting in the crowd but my table mates kept talking and so I kept getting distracted. And I've never seen a hypnotist show so I kind of wanted to watch anyway.
It was crazy but what an experience. AES and I were sitting by each other and laughing so hard we both had tears streaming down our faces. It was hilarious. The hypnotist wasn't malicious - everything was done in sheer fun. It was good.
After that they had a little karaoke thing. AES and I sang together in high school so he kept prodding me to sing. I hate karaoke and having been sick I wasn't really up for it. Plus I hadn't been drinking because I don't usually drink and that usually helps my inhibitions to disappear and I can do at least one song. Well, I gave in when NA was trying to sing "Ode to Billy Joe" and didn't quite know it. And then I sang "Crazy" by Patsy Cline and called it good. The rest of the night I spent talking to the hypnotist (he was also the karaoke guy) and doing card and rope tricks...oh and bending spoons with my mind. I actually twisted one which was pretty cool and I kept it. :)
Yeah, yeah...I'm sure there are those readers thinking I'm naive to think that I actually bent the spoon with my mind. I wonder sometimes though. I really thought I felt the fork bending. The spoon twisting - I know that Ray did that before he put it in my hand but still a fun trick. But the fork bending...I know how he did it, but I do have a little Matrix in me and I wonder if it's not really possible sometimes.
Anyway, my roommate drank a lot so I wasn't looking forward to the night with her, but luckily she didn't hurl until this morning after her shower. I felt no sympathy. Last night she came up and was complaining that her supervisors were mean - "They keep buying me drinks." I said, "You don't have to drink them." Uh, duh. But she said that yes she did because they bought them for her, and that after the week she had with a different co-worker she needed to drink (despite the fact she drank every night while working with said co-worker).
I'm not a fan of drowning your misery in alcohol. I don't see the point when it's a depressant already. How does that help? She felt shitty this morning and I just didn't want to put up with it. I'm sure that makes me callous and rude, but that's how I felt. There are other avenues to work out issues you may have. She's good at bitching about them already; to add alcohol to it just drives me nuts. I'm sure some of this stems from my childhood, but a lot it stems from watching people mess up their lives with it.
Okay, off my soap box. Today we got to work on Strengths Finders a little. I really wish we would have gotten into this more. Oh2btigger asked about the "woo", and I realized I didn't explain SF that much.
A short version: SF is an assessment tool that people can use to find their strengths. We used this at my old job and as a department we all took the assessment and then used it to help understand how each other works well. My supervisor and I didn't match up on any trait - we were totally different. This helped both of us to understand better how to work with one another. I liked structure and set hours. She worked more off the seat of her pants and late into the evenings and random hours. Knowing this and other things helped us to work together better.
The kicker is that you need a code to take the assessment and you can only get the code by buying a book. We used Now, Discover Your Strengths, but they now have new one out that's the same thing called Strengths Finders 2.0.
The conference was really good. My hope is that people will use it and work on leadership and developing our employees more. We do great at the tough stuff, but our basic fundamentals need a lot of work. I'm crossing my fingers!