Wednesday, June 03, 2009

what I'm learning about myself (part I)

My boss approached me a month or so ago.

"Sarah, I want to coach you."

"Huh?" I asked.

"I'm going to take a year and 'coach' you," he replied.


Basically my boss wants to help me grow as a leader. He has been working with a guy who has been coaching him and he wants to take this opportunity to coach me. He says it's helped him a lot. Hey, I'm down! I am always seeking ways to grow in my leadership skills. Many times I feel like I don't know what the heck I'm doing.

Last week was our first coaching session. It was a preliminary meeting to discuss what the year will look like. I was given a book to work through. And then my homework was to 1) take a test about my leadership styles/personality and 2) set aside a day this week for a "retreat day" to start the whole process.

This post is kind of long and is actually more for me to work through what I'm learning. But if you feel like reading, go for it.

Here is what Sarah is learning about herself (thanks to the test results and book I have started working through):

* I am overly sensitive to criticism of my work. Why? Because I'm a perfectionist and am already so hard on myself. I have super high expectations for myself and my job performance. So when other people try to give constructive feedback, I get defensive. I need to chill!

* I prefer things to be orderly and approach work in a systematic manner.

* When I see something that is wrong, I want to fix it.

* I display enthusiasm for almost any project.

* I am capable of making daily decisions routinely but usually become cautious about the bigger decisions (SO true!)

* Ok, this one hit me - The test results said I am basically introverted but have great people skills (and some extroverted tendencies). Whaaaat? I have always considered myself a total extrovert. But then I stopped and thought about it. The past four years at my job, I HAVE found an introverted side of me that I never knew was there. I still love people but I'm finding that after being around people, I need to be by myself for awhile and re-charge. Instead of being 100% extroverted, I feel more like I'm 50%/50%. I think my job has caused this. It's so emotionally and spiritually draining that after work, I feel like I have nothing left to give. I don't have energy to be around people and have conversations. I need to be alone to rest my heart and spirit. I'm trying to decide if I'm ok with this change in my personality. I think I am.

* I avoid face-to-face conflict. SO true. I dislike confrontation. And not just between myself and others; I don't like seeing conflict between anyone (I don't even have to be involved). Charlie (my boss) was trying to help me figure out why this is true, and I couldn't put my finger on it. Is it because I'm the middle child and I felt like I always had to be the peace-maker in my family? I felt like my theme growing up was "Why can't we all just get along?" Why can't I realize that conflict can be handled in a respectful, loving way and it's not always bad? What is my deal?

* I respond to challenges in a cooperative manner and want the "team" to win.

* I enjoy analyzing the motives of others.

* I want to establish good will with others and to influence them in a friendly and sociable manner.

* I enjoy providing a warm and friendly place for the college group.

* I need a support system; I don't want to feel like I'm alone in ministry.

* I prefer not to verbalize my feelings unless I'm in a cooperative and noncompetitive environment.

* In the book, I realized I want to grow in my faith for selfish reasons, not because I want to grow closer to God. (Ooooo, good conviction for me)

Good good good stuff. It's bringing many things to light. This is part I. I'll post more as the coaching continues...


Jody said...

wow, I think it is so cool that Charlie is coaching you (for both of you!). It's nice to know your boss is supportive and sees so much potential, and is willing to put the time in to see results. This leadership training says a lot about Charlie's leadership skills, too.
Can't wait to read more.

NixonsMamma said...

Sarah, that is so cool! I love seeing your teachable spirit!

Can you "Coach" me after? :)

Seriously, what a great idea! I can't wait to see how you learn and grow during this chapter of life!