Grateful

On Saturday I was in a car accident. I was rear ended on the highway. This has reinforced for me many things. In no particular order:

  • My car is a tank and I was very glad that I put safety as a main criteria when purchasing it.
  • My body is a delicate ecosystem. While my spirit and will power are strong, my body is not – despite doing lots of exercising/strength training.
  • Concussions are a big deal and really impact every aspect of your life.
  • I have a lot of fantastic people in my life. Starting with my boyfriend who has been fantastic with everything, but also including my family, friends, my Jewish community, and my workplace.
  • I am super grateful to have worked hard enough to be in a role where I could work from home as needed, but also that it isn’t a big deal to take the time I need to heal and not have it negatively impact my pay (and thus causing other areas of stress.)

I am sure there is more. I am making a point to tell people thank you as often as I can. I hope to remember these lessons, so that once I heal and the tables are turned that I can give back in service and kindness to those who need it.

On my way!

Today I took the GR7, Introduction to Global Remuneration test through World At Work at Pearson Vue. I was really nervous for many reasons – I hadn’t studied as much as I had wanted to, the text was full of detailed information that was really confusing in the details, and other stuff.

Part of the other stuff was hanging over my head the cost of this course/test on my credit card since the work reimbursement policy changed to only reimburse after a completed/passed course. Before it was half up front, half when passed. I suppose it is good for both parties, as the company doesn’t have to pay for longer and it doesn’t have to chase after funds if the course isn’t passed.

That and I was in a car accident over the weekend. It both stole study time as well as made it very hard for me to concentrate while taking the test (cognitive) and the pain was very … painful and distracting.

Luckily, I managed to pass. It would have been nice to have a higher score, but I’ll take what I can get. Onwards and upwards!

Transition

My boss has been super excited that I have my CCP and am so close to the GRP. They have mentioned multiple times wanting me to lead the charge and not just be a SME but also help develop and set standards for our product’s new Compensation module. I’ve been excited about this too!

But, life happens.

This week I had great news to share with my boss, that is still premature, but seems like a good likelihood. Life changing news.

And with these eagerly anticipated changes my priorities are shifting. Understandably so, even! Some would say it’s about 15 years too late. lol I had to break the news that as much as I love my job and working under them, that in the next two-three years I will need to transition to another role, one that won’t have crazy long hours or travel.

I would like to think that I am doing us all a favor by being up front and giving YEARS to transition. Heck, if things work out, I can still be the SME and develop the new module, getting it to a good place, before transitioning to a role that allows for better work life balance. I know that if I were in a management position, having this sort of lead time and the ability to better shift any succession planning would be appreciated.

Trusted relationships

Today was a bad day. I wanted to call in sick today but felt guilty due to an important meeting that afternoon. Nothing went according to plan. Nothing worked. And everything just heaped on.

Luckily, I just kept plugging. Even more luckily, I had a trusted person help me out.

A while ago I was given some advice from a coach that I should find people whom I can give permission to give honest feedback and continue to foster that. Hearing things, even if I may not want to, can be invaluable.

That was exactly one of the golden moments today. In a meeting that was 100% virtual someone was really sharp with me. Knowing I was off, I sent a side message to another person in the meeting asking if it was me or them? I was very grateful that they said I was a bit sharp first. I thanked them for their honesty and made an effort to improve.

Afterwards I asked them if my efforts showed. Unfortunately I had to log off before they could respond, but the fact that there were no further moments I think shows that there was a positive shift.

I remember from my studies long ago about the (probably now antiquated) purple tail parable. It boiled down to someone had a purple tail and people kept telling them about it, but it didn’t sink in until they had been told seven times. Something psychological about that 7th time is when we finally hear what we are being told. I think paying attention to what we’ve been told – hopefully sooner than 7 times! – will help us in our relationships and career.

Management and motivation

In my department it is common to work with many managers at one time. While I report to A, B may be actively involved in another of my projects. It is really interesting seeing and working with so many different types of management styles an levels of experience.

One of the managers I work with tried to motivate the team by emphasizing how we are failing. There were positives thrown in – we are the A team, we have had successes elsewhere, etc… But what stood out to me was how we are the reason this is failing.

It reminds me how it generally takes seven positives to make up for one negative.

This manager is newer. I passed along my perception and how it made me feel – about the manager and the project – to my direct manager. She has a lot more management under her experience and takes on more of a mothering role. She is your cheer leader and great about pointing out how you could improve without it feeling like a slap in the face (like the other manager I mentioned.) She can be firm and does use the “you know how to do this. You are smart, just do it” type tactic when she needs to push someone.

I feel really lucky that I have developed, in a short time, such a bond that I felt comfortable providing her this feedback. I do not feel I could bring it up to the manager who made me feel like crap. I thought I had a relationship with him, but how he has been in the past six months has changed that.

I have to say, it is a blessing to be able to work with so many different styles and levels of experience. I think having this diversity serves people well.

How aware are you of how you interact with people? How comfortable are you with hearing critiques of your style? How do you motivate your team?