December 10, 2005

Course Reflections

Where do I start? Kudos to Aimee for being very well prepared in presenting information to the class! She did a great job of encouraging discussion of the topics amongst our classmates. I found the discussions very interesting as people shared their work and team experiences with the class. There was also the fresh perspective from those who have not really been out in the working world yet, a perspective I don’t hear too often, and one I may have had many moons ago. Time and experience have definitely changed that perspective! Sharing information in class was something I definitely enjoyed, even though I did more listening than speaking.

“Fish? was a great way to send off the class, in that it inspired people to have more fun at work and to take pride in what they do. Work is a given for almost all of us, and I think the tools recommended in “Fish? can go a long way in creating a better work environment. These principles are ones that I may have learned in the past, but it was a good reminder to me that positive changes can yield positive results, and “ruts? are only as temporary as you make them (most of the time).

?The Tipping Point? was a great perspective on group dynamics and was encouraging in showing how individuals can make a big difference in life! I enjoyed reading this, as well as the Goleman and Fujishin books, and I think that the reading materials were all excellent in providing insight into teamwork, group interaction, self-analysis and leadership. There was a good balance of reading materials, written assignments, class activities and presentations. Many of my other classes have relied too heavily on one or the other, and the work becomes tedious. Way to mix it up, Aimee!

I am taking from this course some very useful information on team, group and leadership concepts. Although some of it I already knew through experience, it was good reinforcement for me. I learned some new things as well, and I think covering the aspects of prominent leaders in our WebQuest presentations was inspirational. I consider myself a leader at times, when I choose to play the role. This class has re-emphasized for me the important fact that there is always room for improvement, and that input is necessary from all members of a team in order for the team to be successful. Hopefully the self-analyses will help people to get to know themselves better, and help them recognize their strengths and weaknesses. This has worked for me over the years, and I definitely advocate this practice. There is always room for improvement, and you should always shoot for the stars. After all, we all have things that we can leave behind when we depart from this life. In the meantime, enjoy the journey, learn, share, and love the life!

Posted by at 12:15 PM

December 6, 2005

In A Rut

Currently I am trying to juggle a full time job, an on-call job and 3 classes at the University of Minnesota. This juggling act has put me in a rut in the last few months as I try to prioritize my responsibilities, and try to give my best all the time. There is not enough of me to go around, and I feel like I am not giving either 100% at school or 100% at work, not to mention not having much time to keep up with my personal life.

Yes, here we have it again..another ride on life's roller coaster. As life is a series of peaks and valleys, we all seem to eventually end up in a valley, in a rut. So, how do we head for the peaks and leave the valleys behind? Historically, change has worked for me, whether it be moving to a new home, moving out of state or changing jobs. Drastic changes such as these are not always necessary to get out of a rut. But CHANGE is key.

Employing the concepts from "Fish", "Choose your attitude" is a great way to start. I need to focus on work when I am there, and leave my schoolwork for school and home time. Knowing that I am close to attaining my degree, it is difficult some days to focus on my current job that I will leaving behind in a year or so after I graduate from the U of M. However, my employer is helping pay my tuition, and this is a major part of the rut that I am in right now. How can I remain loyal to both my job and myself (as I pursue my education)?

Perhaps, I need to get more involved at work when I am there and "Be Present". This is something I have to do at school in group discussions as well. By doing so, I can feel that I am putting forth my best effort in the given situation. "Make Their Day" is a philosophy that is very rewarding when practiced, and if I combine this principle from "Fish", along with "Be Present", I can feel more involved and will truly feel like I am part of a sharing situation.

Our office could definitely use some of the "Play" principle mentioned in "Fish". We pretty much have an uptight corporate atmosphere most of the time, and I think adapting a more playful environment could actually increase productivity and go a long way toward boosting morale! I mentioned the book, "Fish" to my boss, and she wants to read it. Hopefully, between she and I (and the rest of our staff), we can come up with creative ideas to "lighten up" the office. I think it will only yield positive results, and maybe I will get out of my rut once I feel like I have truly contributed to making our office a happier place . After all, we spend many hours a week there, so it might as well be enjoyable!

Posted by at 8:52 PM