When I first started swimming, my coach used to criticize us every time we practiced a stroke in the wrong manner, deviated from the ideal practice routine, or lost focus even for a slight second. He was a hard teacher to please, and many students quit.
Each time I entered into the pool, I was nervous I would be the next one to be scolded in front of the other teammates. But I looked forward to go for my swim class every day, because I knew the coach was only harsh to us because he wanted us to be better. Though I disliked being called out in the middle of everyone, the result always led to me being a better swimmer. I knew the moment he stopped caring and calling out my mistakes was the moment my progress would stop.
It has been quite a few years since I have entered into the pool, but the lessons I learned still remain fresh in my mind , and ring a bell every time I work in a group, from school projects to college submissions.
Each time I work with others in a team, one of my goals is to further understand my strengths and weaknesses. I wish to develop my knowns while discovering my unknowns to make them knowns. This is easier spoken than done.
It is easy to go from activity to activity at work, doing enough to get by, and not worrying about your personal development. Doing so would be wasting an opportunity to learn and grow, to be doing the work that you want, to be making the impact you want on the world, and to be paid what you want to be paid. By caring about your personal development, you ensure that every task you do, no matter how meaningless it might seem, will benefit you and help you become the person you want to be. This will entirely change the goal of your life.
Begin each task with a goal of how you want to develop by the end, even if it is just to be better at what you’re already doing.
As you proceed with your goals, try to develop three broad questions in your mind:
- What should I stop doing?
- What should I start doing?
- What should I keep doing?
Then develop the habit of asking these questions to your fellow team members. The answer to each question will help you to become a better leader, a better teammate, and a better person. Each time you ask these questions, you will move closer to being the person you want to become.
When you ask for feedback from people you have worked with, people you have managed, and people who have managed you, provide these 3 questions ahead of time so they have time to think about the answer. Make it known that you want to know the answer to these questions so that you can transform yourself as a better person and urge them to be completely honest while providing this feedback.
Howsoever harsh or kind the answers may seem, they will help you ,in more than one way, to enhance your life and to develop your own identity in today's modern and competitive world.
Thus, make it a point to Introspect and then materialize your targets, and try to be "Who you want to be" rather than becoming "What others want you to be".