Mentorship & Me Part 11 – Peggy Edwards – The Irony of Stocktaking

My challenge this week was to develop my 3 year plan; in order to do this we agreed I should do a stock take on what I had learnt so far and what I need to concentrate on developing, going forward. Also, I had to look at my CV to see how well I am selling myself so when that golden opportunity comes along it is ready. Well I am about half way through and it suddenly struck me how much I have reverted back to my core values trying to bring all this information together; I did a list of 10 sins, just a brain storm of what I had learnt throughout my mentoring sessions. Then guess what; I tried to find the evidence to back this up, I got out my Myers Briggs scoring, the exercises and feedback from identifying my learning style, my ‘colours’ feedback etc and started to link these to my sins. Even as I was reading the information and mapping it out it took a while for the irony of it all strike me. The facts were in front of me, written down, that I thrive with a logical /evidence based approaches and use processes that I am familiar with and that is exactly what I was doing. My mentoring sessions clearly have identified I need to develop a more reflective style and I have been trying really hard to do this and yet I have, within minutes, gone straight back to what I am comfortable and familiar with. I like to think I embrace change (the evidence suggests once I have accepted change I develop a plan going forward) and yet there is something quite deep within my psyche which needs to be fundamentally moved  for me to do things in a different way.

Now I am sure there will be a book on that someone where I can read…


THURSDAY THOUGHTS! – Feedback, do with it whatever you want

One of the best proven ways to learn and develop is by hearing others’ reflections on our own actions.

“When was the last time you heard and acted upon, feedback?”

Since feedback is simply any kind of response to the work you do you receive feedback all the time, in many different forms, probably every single day. For example:

  • an academic reacts to a question you raise in class;
  • a colleague disagrees with you about an issue in a team meeting;
  • someone praises you for getting something completed much earlier than them;
  • the comments section on any blog, or Facebook status, or response to a tweet; or
  • your annual appraisal.

You’ll notice that many of these instances of feedback occur regularly in your day-to-day activities, and it’s important to recognise that you have a personal choice to make in what you do with this feedback.  You could:

  • ignore it;
  • file it for future attention;
  • disagree with it; or
  • Reflect upon it, accept it, and act upon it.  This is the most powerful developmental choice you can make in this set.

Formalised feedback is a communication you can potentially learn from, just like all the others, and it is like any genuine communication: it requires a response in order to add value. You will only make the most of feedback by working to turn it into ideas for future action. You can reflect upon what the feedback you receive tells you, whether you’ve learned the right things in the right way, and how you could better have gone about this learning. So this weeks reflection is to think about:

When was the last time you heard and acted upon, feedback?”

Aresko can now offer junior, middle and senior management 360 degree feedback exercises for individuals or whole teams.  Give us a call if you want to find out more about undertaking this for your own developmental purposes (o7932 641313).

NEWS! 360 feedback process available now!

Contact 07932 641313 to access your own 360 feedback process

Aresko can now offer and deliver junior, middle and senior management 360 degree feedback exercises and personal reports.

The Chartered Institute of Professional Development define 360 degree feedback as a performance appraisal system that gathers feedback on an individual from a number of sources, typically including colleagues, direct reports and customers. This can give managers and individuals better information about their current skills and performance, as well as their working relationships, compared with more traditional appraisal arrangements based on line managers’ assessment alone.

Overview of 360 degree process

With 360 degree feedback, typically eight to 10 people complete questionnaires describing the individual’s performance. Often individuals fill out a questionnaire for themselves too, assessing their own performance.

The rationale is that, in more complex organisations, managers may not always fully understand the contribution of the people they manage – as they may be part of many different teams and engage in autonomous or semi-autonomous relationships with customers or colleagues.  There is, therefore, a strong argument for obtaining wide-ranging information to form an accurate picture of performance.

The 360 degree feedback questionnaire usually consists of a number of statements rated on a scale, for example from one to five, and often includes the opportunity to add free text comments. The ensuing report will summarise the answers given. It often shows the actual ratings given for each question, as well as averages for each question and for each competency, and any written comments (a ‘competency’ is an area of behaviour or performance measured by a group of questions).

It is important that individual employees receive regular, honest feedback on their performance, as they need to understand how their role contributes to overall organisational aims and objectives and how they are performing against agreed criteria. 360 degree feedback can enhance this process greatly.

Have you undertaken one in your present role?  If not, get in touch to find out how you can set one into motion now!

Mentorship & Me Part 10 – Peggy Edwards – In the Naughty Corner

I have been a bad, bad girl according to my mentor; I hadn’t done my homework which was to start to map out my 3 year career plan. Whilst trying to tease out of me where I see myself going it dawned on me that I needed to do an honest reflection on what I had learnt on my mentorship journey so far, what were my strengths and where did I need to develop further. What skills do I need to enhance to get that dream job and what do what I really want to do? I came to the conclusion that perhaps it was time to do a 360 degree appraisal; something I have feared for many years! I once said to someone that I didn’t need to a do a 360 degree appraisal as I knew I was a rude, stroppy person and I didn’t need anyone to tell me. To which my colleague said “well as long as you know that…”. But perhaps it is time to get some external insight from colleagues and peers. I mentioned it to a close colleague I work with and he looked horrified and said you do know it can be a painful experience, he obviously has not had the tough love of a mentorship relationship, bring it on.

Aresko Sponsors Christopher in the 2012 Virgin London Marathon


2010 London Marathon
4hrs 11 minutes

Aresko is sponsoring Christopher to run in the 2012 Virgin London Marathon this Sunday, 22nd April 2012.

He’s doing this for The Prostate Cancer Charity and Breast Cancer Care, two very worthy charities which can use every single penny anyone can spare for the furtherance of their excellent work.

If you give to any charity this year, then please consider giving to these via this link:

Sponsorship for 2012 Virgin London Marathon

We hope to raise 500 very much needed GB£s and believe me, every single penny/cent/dime/euro etc will count afterwards.

Act now and make a donation –  please?


THURSDAY THOUGHTS! – Advice to your younger self

Travelling home from work last night, listening to the radio in the car, I heard a feature about the youth job market in the UK.  Three young people, who were unemployed but had been job seeking for a year ,were tasked with contacting friends of theirs who had either left the UK to work elsewhere, or whom had returned to their native country to work.  The conversation with said friend was recorded for the radio and covered one in Holland (more incentive to stay in education and lots of health service opportunities), one in Germany (tax issues appeared preferential plus paid internships) and one in Hong Kong (growth high).  They discussed what each respective country’s efforts were around youth employment and the relative opportunities available.  All three came to the conclusion that if they had not secured paid employment by the end of this year, they would go international with their job searching and move.  But it made me think:

“Knowing what you know now, what would you advise your younger self to do when starting out?”

How would you adapt your approach given the wisdom you now possess – if at all?  And more importantly …. give some reasons.

Hope you enjoy this week’s question – it certainly made me think!

Mentorship and Me (Part 2) : Alison Crawford – the journey commences

My first mentor meeting was something of an eye-opener.  Talking about your strengths and weaknesses, motivators and drivers isn’t an easy thing to do, but that’s what we did.  Fear of not achieving meant that I have never ever written myself a career plan, despite considering myself fairly ambitious.  All this must change, says my mentor.

So now I have a summary of my discussion, all in black and white and I can’t say I’m impressed with myself!  I know what my weaknesses are, and now they are written down and acknowledged I can’t very well ignore them anymore can I?  But this is just the kick up the bum I need, to reflect on my problem areas and do something about them.  First off, I will see a project from beginning to end (and not just beginning or end).

So homework is to do a 5 year plan, find out what ‘colour’ I am and to do a bit of reflection on the last session.  I guess the main take home message is that staying where I am and following the promotion chain up doesn’t really appeal to me anymore, I don’t see anyone senior in my organisation doing anything exciting.  Although I’d like my bosses job it’s mainly so I can have more autonomy than because it’s the path to the career I’d really like.  Still, I suppose it’s a start, time for more thinking.

THURSDAY THOUGHTS! – are you making your dreams come true?

Whilst on holiday this week, it has made me think, for a very long time I feel like I’ve been on a professional treadmill and my big dream in life has been to make a move to the country and to live a better quality of life. It’s beginning to feel like this might become a reality, as we’ve been walking in Wales with the family and have a whole bunch of property details to digest. So, with a long held dream in mind:

“How do you go about making things happen, or does it feel like what you really want most is still a mountain too big to climb?”

Do you like process, getting various building blocks in place?
Are you more of a project manager with a comprehensive breakdown of stages?
Do you break things down into bite-size chunks as the whole task is too big to contemplate?
Do you ever complete at all?

No right or wrong on this, just interesting ways to go about making things happen.

My whole family is off for a 7 mile walk today in the glorious Brecon Beacons – TTFN 🙂


THURSDAY THOUGHTS! – What Team Role Do You Provide?

I’m heavily involved in the Belbin accreditation process at present so I’m interested in knowing if anyone has already obtained their Belbin Team Role and if so, does it help you understand the team role you play more fully?

“What team role do you provide?”

Perween Warsi recently used the language of team roles in management on The Apprentice: You’re Fired.  I’ve linked to Meredith Belbin’s observation of it and it makes interesting reading.

So what role do you provide?  Is your own self perception consistent with how others see you operating within a team context?  Do you actually know what your role is in self-perception inventory terms and if not, would you like an individual or team review undertaken this summer?  07932 641313 will give you access to this on a personal or team level.  Why wait to improve team working?  From the summer, with this help, you could be seen as a high performing team with this help, so ring for information and booking 🙂

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