I recently flew from my home in the midwest state of Iowa to Portland, Oregon, for the Support Driven Leadership Summit. I was lucky to gather with managers of all kinds to discuss best practices and the latest techniques.
I wrote an impressive seven pages of notes during my time there. I'd love to share just a few life lessons from what I learned that could apply to anyone—whether you’re leading a team or not.
1. Not everything will go smoothly 🙈
You can organize, direct, and document as much as you want, but in the end, not everything will go according to plan. The people with you will make mistakes, or your technology will fail. Plus, the bigger the project, the more likely it is for something to slip through the cracks.
That doesn't mean you shouldn't plan. You just need to be prepared to identify when things are getting hairy and address those things immediately. You may need to adjust your original plan just to keep things on track, and that's OK!
Use your challenging situations as an opportunity to find inefficiencies and improve. Most importantly, move through these bumpy patches with patience, grace, and optimism.
2. Give it a try 😬
So many of us can get caught up in the "what if" that we end up doing nothing at all. We ruminate over the "ifs, ands, and buts" until we're frozen in time, waiting for these fears to disappear. Sometimes, we're even afraid to start because we've made similar decisions in the past and failed.
Take a deep breath, remember it's OK to fail, and give it a try anyway! As you experiment, document what you're learning and how you're adapting to new situations. Then, when you face these challenges in the future, you can adjust and apply your learnings from past experiences.
3. Advocate for yourself and others 📣
Sometimes it feels difficult or uncomfortable to speak up for yourself or others. If you're one of these people, start small. Here are some things you can try doing in your personal life to get better at this:
- Tell a waiter that they forgot your sauce
- Suggest a different activity in a group outing
- Let your partner know about something that's been bothering you
Eventually, you'll feel more confident in advocating for yourself and others. You'll see how important it is to speak up in various situations and feel your advocacy's positive impact on your environment. Developing this skill will also help you build trust with others, discover different viewpoints, and receive meaningful feedback.
The bottom line? Regardless of how you decide to implement these life lessons, always remember to be gentle with yourself, ask for help when you need it, and support others.
Solaris is passionate about creating delightful experiences, bringing smiles to faces everywhere, and visiting every zoo she can find.