Hitting refresh at the beginning of January is one of my favourite times of the year. It’s that ‘back to school’, fresh start, ‘anything is possible’ feeling that reinvigorates me as I take a moment to reflect on the years potential & set goals for the year ahead.
I started 2018 a little differently. I attended The Emerging Leaders Bootcamp run by ‘The Dream Collective’ – an organisation creating the next generation of female leaders.
This isn’t your typical leadership course, rather a program in Self Leadership – an immersion of thought-provoking concepts that are incredibly powerful and relevant for transformational leadership change that starts from within.
Here’s what I learned:
1. Become less cluttered by mental debris
In 2018 I celebrated 2 years at Hilti Australia and was determined to make this year my best year yet. I mapped out my year, packed my diary with goals and plans and everything in-between. I thrive on having plans, always having work, always having places to go and people to see. But when you are too busy, you don’t have time to realise or appreciate your surroundings and the moments you may be too distracted to notice. You also don’t recognise the emotional toll that it takes when you aren’t able to connect to reality.
My plan: Practice the psychology of mindfulness which guest speaker – Dr. Adrian Medhurst, espoused to during the program – become more self-aware, and assign my time and energy to things that truly matter.
2. Cultivate gratitude
In psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater levels of happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, and is a way for people to appreciate what they have instead of always searching for something they think will make them happy. There are many things in our lives, both large and small, that we can be grateful about.
My plan: I now take some time on a day I have declared as ‘Thankful Thursday’, reflecting on someone who has helped me, and letting them know that. I will either do this in person, with a hand-written note, e-card, or just an email, making sure to tell them what a difference they have made to my week.
3. Mind hacking
This year I have been focused on transitioning from a tactician to a strategist. It’s more than just learning new skills – it’s redesigning the way I think. I’ve since become fascinated by the “growth mindset” concept after hearing Gauri Bhalla – founder of The Curious Collective speak about it during the program, especially since I used to have a fairly fixed mindset – #confessionalert. It’s the insecure perfectionist in me! I love putting a bow on everything.
My plan: Be aware my own ‘resistance’ – a concept Stephen Pressfield writes about in his book ‘The War of Art’ (which I highly recommend!). It talks about all that psychological stuff that keeps us away from the creativity of a ‘growth mindset’. So, instead of just trying harder and harder, I plan to work smarter. I’ll be putting on my explorer hat and drafting fresh, new ideas that will move me from problem solving to opportunity seeking.
4. Practice empathy
I’m a people person. I’m naturally energised by humans, and I thrive on building meaningful relationships. During the program we conducted Empathy Interviews – a foundation of the concept of ‘Design Thinking’. It uses a human-centered approach to understand the feelings and experiences of others.
My plan: Focus on having authentic conversations with my colleagues which will allow me to understand their emotions, motivations and choices.
5. What fills your cup?
Alicia Brown – Head of Programs at The Dream Collective asked us to think about what fills our cup. While I usually do a half-decent job of keeping my cup full, I’ve had a couple of months where this has not been the case. I created a reality that said that everyone had certain expectations of me and that I had to live up to them … or else. In reality, very few, if any, of those expectations existed. It’s my responsibility to take the time to do what feeds my soul – first.
My plan: The glass will be half full regardless of the day, and when it feels half empty – I’ll get a smaller cup.
I’m excited to start the 2019 new year in a great place with a matching mindset. The plan is to take regular moments to pause, reflect and celebrate my own achievements, and reflect on how lucky I am to work so many people I admire, doing a job that allows me to fuel Hilti’s unique culture.
Written by 2018 alumni member, Priya Singh from Hilti Australia.
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