Week three has been awesome! It feels like course participants are now in the weekly swing of activities and are beginning to advance in a process of learning. I have enjoyed gaining value insights from the past three weeks of study, action and reflection. And our team was really happy after the first rollover! I hope that when I start to do feedback on Monday I find that other students are having a similar experience.
The readings this week were stimulating, as usual. I felt they provided valuable insights into the very human dimension of management and the central role that character and personal qualities play in shaping work and performance. Not often does research or frameworks in the business world take into consideration essential qualities such as humility and resolve, let alone love, compassion, honesty, gentleness, restraint, and sincere concern for others - all things I would consider to be qualities of those that are excellent at managing people effectively. That one of the readings explored the concept of humility was quite refreshing. If only more effort and research could go into analyzing and treating human beings as human beings and not as robots or tools of production! I’m sure that if during our education and training as much time was spent focusing on the development of these morals and positive qualities of the human heart as is spent on intellectual and theoretical learning, the work force and society at large would be imbued with much higher degrees of coherence, unity, efficiency, knowledge diffusion, reciprocity and the like. Oops, I’m rambling.
So, back to reflection. Over the past week I was trying to consider how the quality of humility manifests itself in the context of our team. Drawing attention to our personal achievements is an easy and obvious idea, but I think it can influence processes much more regularly and constructively than that. One thing I tried to do consciously was to avoid speaking first and to ensure the other members of the team were given the space to share their perspectives before I shared mine. If I am exercising humility I will have a sincere desire to hear what others think first, as I will recognize they likely have experience and knowledge which I do not. I’d then be in a better position to offer insights in a way that doesn’t just repeat what has already been said but hopefully adds something useful.
In practice I found this challenging! Often I struggled to exercise restraint, especially when I had what I felt was a ‘good’ idea. However sometimes when I did manage to hold back I found that others were able to share what I was thinking but often in a better way, which was good all round. So, I am beginning to see the benefits of exercising humility but know I have so much more to learn about it!