Monday, September 14, 2015

Practicing Good Behavior

First, I want to thank everyone for being awesome. We're very happy and pretty psyched to be getting married! Now, we get to start planning the wedding (even though I not-so-secretly wish we could elope)!

It's going to be a little weird to just jump in and write about other things, when what I want to write is: We'regettingmarriedWe'regettingmarriedWe'regettingmarriedWe'regettingmarried
We'regettingmarriedWe'regettingmarried. For about 17 pages. But! I'll refrain and have a little bit of regularly scheduled programming. To ease the transition, I've uploaded this Kitty video.

This semester I'm taking a seminar through the MBA program called Leadership Through People Skills. It has been really interesting. While I've loved the MPC program, it hasn't had any management or leadership training*. So far my classes have focused mainly on marketing and public relations, which is good ... since the majority of us work in some form of marketing. But, I imagine quite a few of us want to continue to move up the ladder and will need to improve our management skills to do so. It isn't easy.

The seminar is rewarding, even if it is on Friday and Saturday, but emotionally draining. We have to go through multiple practice role plays with difficult personalities. During the role plays our classmates film us, and then we have to sit down and shut up while they critique us -- usually ripping our attempts to shreds.

Me pretending to be Q1
for a classmate to sharpen his skills
In the last couple of sessions, I think I made actual improvement in dealing with some of these different situations. And, of course, I want to be able to apply it in real life: at work and at home. This means that Boyfriend is now my live-in lab rat. The first weekend our teacher told us to go home and ruffle someone's feathers, and then try to use our Q4 skills to manage the behavior. Fortunately, I'm so good at being annoying I didn't even have to try to frustrate Boyfiren

I think the point of all this is that I would like to make my life and relationships better. As we go through class and watch the videos, most of us get rated as "Q1" behavior, which you want to avoid. When this happens, it is eye opening, but scary because I think this is how people perceive us all of the time. One guy in class pretty much outright said I'm a difficult person. I was trying to show restraint during the role play and he gave me credit for not being as mean as I normally am...

After sizing myself up in the seminar I think I fluctuate pretty regularly between Q1, Q2 with Q3 masking. Essentially, I'm bossy, then dismissive and if all else fails, I'll be chipper to smooth it all over.
Trying to manage a real-life case
with my classmate playing a Q3
Through this all, we come across as only wanting to stick to our own agendas and we don't have time to listen to others. It takes a lot of tearing down and intentional behavior to avoid this. It leaves me wondering if I have what it takes, or would I rather just revert to old habits?

Reverting to old habits would certainly be easier, but then will I get the same old results? And, like I said, not just in working relationships, but my interpersonal relationships too. I'd like to make an intentional shift, especially as I start a new transition and as Zach and I are merging our families. Maybe, this will make a difference or help me.

If you want to check out the seminar I've been working through you can go to this site or check out this book!

* To be fair to the communications program, I think some of the electives that I haven't taken did focus on management and leadership roles.   

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