As the year 2017 draws to a close, I am left with a deep sense of gratitude and many experiences to be thankful to. This will remain the year, marked forever, that I commenced my journey of Using Self as an instrument of change. Here is my 2017 captured in a nutshell!
- Creating bonds & meaningful relationships: It took me conscious efforts to build this, layer by layer, at work, in college (my weekend classes of PG in Organization Development and Change at Tata Institute of Social Sciences), through the social and digital learning platforms that I am an active member in. What enabled this for me was accepting & trusting people and being authentic.
- Stretching myself: It has been 1 year of immense stretch for me, with every waking hour accounted for, juggling between heavy deliverables at work, demanding college assignments and packed weekend schedules, and personal commitments. Yes, there were clearly times when I burned out, but during such times I received the required nudges from people who genuinely cared for me, which put me back on track! I never gave up! What was an apprehension at the start of the year, turned out to be an affirmation and assurance at the end of the year. What made me do this was only beleif in my own self and trusting the process.
- Continuous Learning: Be it through the various meaningful assignments that I have had at work, through heart-to-heart conversations with people, through all the digital and social learning platforms, structured and unconventional means, this has been a year of continuius learning! I realized that when there is openness to acknowledge and appreciate the richness of all that is around us, there indeed is so much to learn every single day.
- A search of Purpose: Many people ask me why am I doing this course in OD. Honestly, I have no answer. All I know, and that I am aware of is that there is a natural pull, thanks to exposure to OD related work quite early in my career. I didnt find this course, this course found me! Today, this OD course is no more a subject to me, its a way of life. Have the intent intact, you will find your purpose.
- Truly letting go and expressing: This was a conscious area of development, where I chose to let go of the guards and express myself through writing, singing, sketchnotes, even my views with my stakeholders. My sketchnotes are not really about the skill-set to me, its a meditative trance and a therepautic reflection process for me. In all that I did through the year, I expressed what I felt, uninhibited. I realized that by being authentic, I can claim my space.
- Finding and discovering my strengths: In the process of indulging in all the above mentioned points, I was able to discover some of my own strengths. Some were complete new discoveries, which happened because I was open to feedback, and some were validations of what I already was aware of. Discoveries could be related to strengths or weaknesses, that irrespective, what is important is what are we doing with those feedbacks that we receive. I started leveraging on my strengths. This made me realize that discoveries are possible when we are open to feedback.
- Making time for everything: What started as a stretch, over a period of time are now turning to be habits. I am thankful to the universe, to be able to find time for all that matters to me, even if it means a stretch. I am reminded of Rumi’s quote here “What you are seeking is seeking you”.It is all about knowing your priorities in life, and working on them consistently. Consistency is critical for any process to take shape.
- Connecting at a deeper level with my own Self: Heartfelt gratitude to the OD journey, I have been able to connect a bit more deeply with my own self. Journaling and reflections made me more conscious of my own feelings and emotions. It enabled me to find balance in my interactions.
- Sensemaking: My observations have always been strong, but I have always kept my observations to myself. I realized that these observations, when shared with the right people at the right time, makes a great difference to the situation. OD is about creating your own model, by believing what works best for you as a practitioner. I am assured, that sensemaking is my strength as a practitioner.
- Gratitude: 2017 has clearly been a year of heartfelt gratitude and many people and experiences to be thankful for. I have written about gratitude in my earlier blog, that gratitude is not about being thankful after an event, it is about being thankful during the event. By paying attention to everything around and within me, I find have started appreciating the opportunities that come my way.
- Go with the Flow: I have simply gone with the flow, trusting the pull. Always trust the process and be true to the process, outcomes will emerge with its own time.
- Embracing Inclusion: With an increase in my networking, there were also diverse views and opinions that emerged on various aspects. I have, with time, learnt to cultivate an inclusion mindset. I have realized that when I am willing to allow another to contribute, what gets created together is a far better result. I have started enjoying the joys of co-creation.
- Saying ‘No’: Another area that I consciously chose to work on was being able to say ‘No’, being able to objectively put my perspective across. This is still a work in progress and will continue as a developmental area in 2018 too. But atleast I have started being authentic to my own self.
- Asking Questions: This was a very discomforting process for me (not that others mentioned earlier were any easier), to be able to ask, clarify, etc. Staying curious, and mostly revelaing my own vulnerabilties, I have realized that when I ask, I find answers not only to the current doubt, but I also find answers to my own apprehensions and inhibitions. That to me is a point of arrival. When we are open to asking, could be questions, could be views or perspectives, but the sheer act of asking helps us evolve as individuals.
I would like to take the analogy of Esdysis, which is the process of shedding the old skin in snakes (reptiles) and allowing for the growth of new skin. Shedding or moulting of the old skin is a painful process, which requires the snake to rub against a rock or an object persistently to allow the skin to shed, until the snake is able to crawl out of its skin. This process is necessary for the growth of new skin. My own Ecdysis and moulting process has commenced in 2017. I am working towards embracing the new skin in 2018. I am also conscious and aware that this is a recurring process, and I am ready for that as well! Welcome 2018, I have earned you every bit!
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