Slow down, back up, and listen: Some goals for 2020

Here are some of the ideas on my mind as I think about my development (in the work context) in the coming year:

  • I've learned I need to intentionally slow down and let others help shape the work or the discussions I am leading. This is especially true when I am feeling stressed about the need to get sh!4 done! I will be looking for a technique or a way to remind me to do that when the crunch is on. (This is something I will talk to my leader about. I am also open to suggestions!) 
  • Related to the above, I need to be mindful of the advice I sought last year around running better meetings. While I am good at providing background info most of the time (one of my colleagues calls me the Queen of Context), I have sometimes skimped on this in meetings. I need to remember to back up and let people know where the current discussion fits into the overall process, i.e., what is the ultimate deliverable, what has happened so far, and what happens next. My technique for this one is to add something right into all the agendas I control, to create space for the discussion about the process, rather than focusing solely on outcomes.
  • I've built my ability to actively listen. I need to remember to use some of the specific techniques (asking drill-down questions before responding, playing back what I hear) and phrases (tell me more) that will signal I am inviting the input and comments. Just now, I put a daily reminder in my calendar for January as a prompt to practice this once per day until it's more automatic. (I'll try to report back in a future post.)

I'll be looking at these ideas as I set my 2020 goals in the weeks to come. Feel free to let me know if you have others!

Maybe because it's the start of a decade, 2020 strikes me as a momentous year. I hope it's a great one for all of us.


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