As we head towards summer, it’s a great time to review the goals you set for yourself at the beginning year. How have you been doing? It’s also a good time to set some new ones.
Wondering where to start? How about with learning something new about your business. Spend some time outside your sphere of influence and expertise, outside of your department. Take a tour of your offices or visit other locations associated with your business like plants or production facilities. Visit the front lines like store fronts or service centers. Ride along with field personnel. Not only is this time away from your duties rewarding on it’s own, it will give a new perspective on your business and respect for other positions, and hopefully a new understanding of customers and clients.
Want more? Great! mid year is a great time to learn a new technology. We often grow very attached to the tools we use daily, and even start to view our problems and solutions through the way in which those can fit into them. Now is a good time to look beyond your tools. Spend some time using or evaluating a new one. It could open your eyes to new possibilites, and get you to thinking more creatively about your business. Spend some time with an enthusiast or expert, it could drastically shift your perception of the capabilities technology can offer, and how you are using, or not using, the tools available.
Want even more? Awesome! Then tackle this one: get a grip on the ‘two things’ you need to work on personally this year. But you don’t know what those are, do you. That’s ok, because I guarantee the people you work with, work for, and those who work for you, CAN identify those two things you need to work on. It will be uncomfortable, but informally and personally ask a couple of peers, superiors, and people you manage what two things you could improve upon. Keep it informal and open, with no judgment, and with any luck you’ll hear a consistent theme or two emerge that you can then focus on improving.
Remember that the people you solicit are doing you a favor: helping you improve. Even if you disagree with what they say or feel it’s incorrect or unfair, thank them for their feedback and move on. Act on the comments that you hear repeatedly and that you’re in the best position to fix. And when I say move on from the other comments, I mean it. Don’t dwell on them, and don’t make the people who offered them regret it.