I’ve made it through workshop two of ‘Springboard’ and my bra is still intact. I even managed to do my homework and it wasn’t at the back of the bus!
At the end of workshop one, we were all encouraged to set a goal to be achieved by the next workshop. Something small.
I was motivated to sign up for ‘Springboard‘ as a way of making some positive changes around here. ‘Positive’ being about getting a better balance on the whole work-life thing. So, me being me, I kept it totally in perspective and declared that my first goal was to become a better mother (yup, totally in perspective and achievable in four weeks! *ewsh*).
Anyway, since the 4th of September, I have made sure that I’ve been there to take Squatter* No.1 to football and rugby. I’ve done my fair share of school drop-offs, delivered him to Beavers, attended a PTA meeting and made moon sand!
My working world hasn’t imploded while I’ve been doing this and I’ve had a really fun and unusually calm four weeks. WINNING!
Workshop two was all about getting to know myself better.
Personal values and limiting beliefs were central to this month’s session and this really got my mind ticking.
There was a question posed on Twitter during this year’s Academi Wales Summer School asking, ‘When did you first become aware of your own values?’.
I’m not sure I’ve ever consciously thought about my own values, but this question caught my eye back then, so when it came up again at ‘Springboard’ I was intrigued.
There are some things I feel very strongly about, so much so that they trigger a physical reaction in me. I can only describe it as a paunchy old moth stamping a foot at the bottom of my tum and propelling himself through my chest – Yeah? I knew you’d understand!
These things predominantly relate to matters of fairness of opportunity. Also to dishonesty or more specifically manipulation of a person or situation for individual gain. I also really value personal space and independence.
When I think about work I’ve wholeheartedly enjoyed and had the most fulfilment from, I think about projects where I’ve looked at an issue, got underneath it and identified ways of making improvements.
Working in public sector and in the roles I’ve had, this usually equates to providing individuals or communities with a better service or better access to services.
One of my proudest moments to date was being shortlisted in the Leading Wales Awards 2014 – ‘Leadership for the future’ category (fourth from the bottom of the list).
The work that led to me being nominated, started with a task that went something like this… ‘Go and find out what young people think!’
*Yup, I pulled that same face!*
However, after wearing down a few Sharpies, some probing conversations and loads of Bas shandy, I was off.
I’m hop, skipping and jumping over three years of door knocking, data analysis, report writing, back-alley stomping and sticky meetings here, but in short, the work culminated in us asking loads of questions about public service design.
We uncovered examples where national policy decisions, made in places far-removed from the ground, were having detrimental and long lasting negative effects on communities. We used our data to enable the council to access funding. We took our multi-coloured maps to highlight an issue to a housing association and we spoke at public meetings, sharing and taking challenge on what we were finding. This work felt good and paved the way for future change.
In retrospect, and now that I’m forced to reflect (because it’s part of our second lot of homework!), I can see that this work perfectly aligned to my values. It’s not something I’ve consciously thought about before though, so I guess in answer to the Academi Wales question, NOW is the first time I’ve consciously become aware of my values, despite me being more than aware for a very long time of the things that make me twitch in my chair and speak up. Those moments when suppressing the angsty, determined moth in my tum wouldn’t be right.
I suppose the question now is what I do with my new awareness and insight?! I’m hoping workshop three will have all the answers for me!
Below is a doodle of the prompt ‘Springboard’ used to get us thinking about our values.
I’ve discussed this with colleagues twice today and each time more thoughts have triggered in my mind.
It’d be good to hear if this values chart helps you.
I’m really enjoying this programme and I’m finding it’s leading me to think quite differently about things.
If you get the chance to sign-up for Springboard, I’d highly recommend it – there’s nothing to lose and probably a lot to gain.
I’m going to keep what I learnt about limiting beliefs for another post. If you know me, you know I can talk and I’m guessing you all have better things to do than sit here all day with me and my musings.
* The Squatters – the collective noun for the kids (3yrs and 6yrs).