Monday, November 27, 2017

Nature vs. Nurture

Last week I attended a workshop whose central topic was strengths based leadership. The first item on the agenda was an introductory round where all attendees were asked to present themselves and answer a few questions, including "what I am - at least a little - good at". The facilitator explained that the "at least a little" modifier had proved successful as, in his experience, many people struggled to talk about something they thought they were good at to a group, not wanting to boast. My instinctive reaction was: "Come on, that's a little exaggerated!" until I realised that I used to be exactly like that, inwardly cringing when asked to talk about my achievements. 10 years of working in an American corporate environment had not only erased everything but a little trace of that behaviour, but almost had me forget that this was something your average Central European seriously struggled with. Constantly talking about how awesome you are might not come natural to us, but once you have had to do it regularly in order to "survive" Monday to Friday it becomes second nature and you almost become impatient with those people who think its natural for the person who grades you to recognise your superpowers without you having to constantly highlight them. Which I still, regardless of my long exposure to the opposite practise, believe is actually the sign of a good people manager.


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