Your Workplace Compass
Thursday, November 16th, 2017
How self-aware are you of the constantly changing relationships you are part of in your workplace?
I would like to share with you an image that I have often used during my coaching sessions. I devised this approach as way to offer insight to the person I am working with so they could appreciate how the relationships they create, become part of or manage change as they develop and progress. Especially when connected to a promotion or a new role within a new organisation.
The image I use is an old fashioned magnetic compass. Preferably one with engravings in the centre.
Why? Smart phones and Satnavs use GPS satellites to give accurate locations and precise directions. All without us having to think about where we are, and, in which direction we are travelling. Hence we travel forwards without being truly aware of our surroundings, perhaps not looking left, right or behind.
How aware are you of what is happening?
How conscious are you, that you travel, your behaviour, your words, deeds and actions affect the people you come into contact with?
In short you are at high risk of travelling on autopilot with a much reduced sense of self awareness.
A compass is an ancient reliable aid to navigation. It will, especially when combined with a map, give the user an accurate idea of their relative location, the relative direction of travel both from their starting point and where they are in relation to their final destination. A magnetic compass does the same job but the user needs to do the calculations and check in regularly to ensure they know their location and more importantly, are they moving in the right direction?
Using your personal in-built workplace compass will increase your level of self-awareness because it encourages you to make a conscious effort to be aware of your surroundings. The benefits to you, the individual include making you more self-aware of your direction and progress. Not only self awareness, but very importantly awareness of how other people and groups see you. In other words your conscious level of empathy goes up!
I suggest the South facing point on the compass represents your relationships with teams, staff etc.
The West and East facing points represent relationships with peers (colleagues and managers), stakeholders, internal and external customers and anyone else you come into contact with who is working at the same level inside and outside your organisation.
The North facing point represents your relationship with the senior leadership team, board members and investors.
Given that you, as well as the organisation as whole, constantly moves and changes direction; do regularly check your position using your personal compass? How are you? Also monitor the health of your relationships as you move towards or away people, groups or organisations, that is the reciprocal bearing between them and you.
I encourage you all to use your personal compass to take bearings regularly between you and everyone you come into contact with in the workplace.