- Bite the Bullet
- Hold Hands
- It's not a one-way street
- Review and Reflect
Friday, 27 April 2012
I want to acknowledge here and thank a great bunch of people who offered their support and advice then, and continue to do so now - Mandy Randall-Gavin (@ MandyRG), Kate Graham (@ KateGraham23), Stephanie Dedhar (@ StepanieDedhar), Lisa Johnson (@ TuppyMagic), Craig Taylor (@ CraigTaylor74) and Colin Steed (@ ColinSteed) - all of whom write and publish their own excellent blogs, which I thoroughly recommend to you.
...it's a two-way street! Engage, don't pontificate. I am thrilled when someone takes the trouble to read one of my blogs in the first place, but even more excited when they comment. I will always try to respond (room for development here, I think) and then we are in dialogue. A recent blog by David Goddin (@ ChangeContinuum) touched very effectively on this subject http://peopleperformancepotential.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/pseudo-intellectual-blog-bomb-of.html
Review and Reflect...
I've gone back and re-read my 20-blog output over the last year, and I see a definite change in them. My early blogs were a tad forced, contrived even, when I felt unsure of my own voice or what I wanted to talk about ("Don't over-think them" was the advice from a seasoned blogger here). However, when I was inspired or - as importantly - energised or empassioned about the topic, they flowed more naturally and with more authenticity. People notice that kind of stuff, and comments and feedback from my great #PLN confirm that fact ("It read much more 'conversational' and as such, I found it easier to read" was a recent comment from another experienced blogger).
Oh, one thing I do think I do well (feel free to challenge) - I write great, catchy Titles. I like puns and I try to make my headlines intriguing, walking the middle line between being too clever or too pompous. Like I said, feel free to challenge that one!
My key learning points?
I've written some of them already as the sub-headings in this blog. But here they are in a convenient, take-away sized bullet list.
So here we are; the end of my 21st - but not my last - blog. Thanks for taking the time to read this one. Now let's talk...
Wednesday, 25 April 2012
So yesterday, a focussed half day, at the Brewery in Brick Lane, Algate East London, was attended by about 30 people, most of who I had never met before, but several of whom I was already following or being followed by on Twitter. A very loose agenda was offered and we divided up into groups to discuss various kick-off topics, which we then post-it-noted into further discussion groups. Refreshements were on tap all afternoon, so no need to take specific breaks where we all queued for the toilet at the same time.
No keynote speakers, no experts to tell us how c**p we are at what we do - just enthusastic professionals sharing knoweldge, opinions and ideas.
Rather than give you a blow-by-blow account of the proceedings, I'm adding links to this blog, to take you to some of the great reflective resources that other attendees created. If you cannot access these links via the network at work, can I strongly urge you to try from home or elsewhere, as these are the kinds of tools that can open up our discussion and our own knowledge sharing potential.
http://pabial.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/i-give-to-you-ld-connect/ A blog from Sukh Pabial, one of the organisers.
http://storify.com/kingfishercoach/l-and-d-connect-unconference A Storify summary of the event in Tweets and pictures, curated by Ian Pettigrew, one of the attendees.
http://itsdevelopmental.com/2012/delegates-share-their-takeaway-from-the-ld-connect-unconference/ A video blog by Martin Couzins, where all the attendees were invited to speak directly to camera on our way out, stating what one big 'take-away' each of us was leaving with.
One final thought. Wouldn't this be a great format for our next internal HR Conference - an HR UNConference?
End of the work blog.
I'll let you know what kind of interest and/or feedback I get from my HR colleagues...
Friday, 20 April 2012
At the start of the trial, I was trying to take notes where I felt that there were inconsistencies in witness responses under questioning from the Prosecution and Defence Counsels. I was determined to be the best juror I could be, to assess all the evidence as objectively and with as much clarity of recall as I could, so I started off taking basic notes on the notepads provided for that purpose in the court room. After all, there would be no slide decks "available on the website after the event"!
In trying to capture one point, I realised I was missing another, and another... And my handwriting was just not up to the task! In desperation, I started scribbling notes without looking at them, as I tried to watch and listen to the to-and-fro between the players on the floor of the court. As a result, my notes were becoming more and more illegible - and therefore irrelevant. I was in danger of - literally - losing the plot.
So I decided to take a more relaxed view, sat back and started really paying attention, listening closely and hoping that my fellow jurors - many of whom were not taking notes either - were paying similar close attention, and that all the necessary discussion points would arise in our deliberations as and when the time came for us to consider our verdict. This was going to be a real test of memory and recall then. Ironically, after six days, the Prosecution withdrew its case and we were directed by the Judge to acquit the Defendant. My notes were redundant anyway!
On reflection, I realised that, partly due to the A5 size of the cheap lined notepads supplied, I had not attempted to note-take in my preferred style, which is to mind-map on A4. This is my default, everyday method of organising myself. My work Day Book is page after page of daily maps; I capture all my own meeting notes in mind-maps; I do shopping lists in mind-maps; my To Do Lists are mind maps. They suit my way of thinking and allow me to free-flow ideas, capture thoughts that may not have occurred to me at the time, spark ideas, get everything onto one page, etc. as well as let my inner graffiti artist/doodler/cartoonist loose at the same time. Somehow, that approach did not feel right for the seriousness of my juror responsibilities.
And before anyone points it out, yes, I am aware of and do use mind mapping software as well. I have an old version of MindJet's MindManager on my work laptop and I have a personal MindMeister account as well. However, they were not an option for my Juror role, for the reasons already mentioned.
So, is it too late to re-learn how to write neatly? Can I undo 50 years of ever-deteriorating handwriting skills? Does it matter? Evidently tech is not the answer to every situation where physical writing skills are required. How are your hand writing skills? Anyone got any ideas? If you do, don't expect a hand-written thank-you letter!