It always amazes me how and when realizations come to me.  Even though I am around people all day, I really am quite isolated. Today I had two meetings – one with an outside colleague and one with my new mentor from the leadership program I am taking.  Both meetings were great and energizing for me. People rarely energize me. It was great to have discussions about vision and leadership and to create concrete solutions.

Other realizations have come to me at different times. Reflection and self-assessment are things I do all the time. I believe that these things are critically important to moving forward and growing as a human being. Being a linear, rational person I don’t always deal with emotions. I have been trying to work in that realm a little bit more and realizing that for other people, validation of their emotions is critically important to forming a relationship. This may also be a priority as I am facing 7 days alone with my mother who is very emotional.

One of things that really helped me lately is realizing that most conflict centres on unmet needs. If you can identify the need or the emotion that is not being met, communication can become focused and much more productive.  For example, I have someone in my life for whom connection and validation around family milestones is very important. If he feels someone is not engaged with him around these familial events he finds it difficult to trust. By acknowledging these things that are important to him, our relationship improved immensely.

I am passionate about leadership. I strive to lead in a way that people want to follow. I have always ended up in leadership positions at work, in volunteer situations and with people in my life. Many times, I would be leading people who were quite a bit younger than me. Communication has always been an issue. I tend to economize when it comes to communication. I seem to think that people understand what I am doing and where I am going except sometimes I don’t give people all the information. I think I might assume they know and the other part may just be a bit of laziness.

I am really working on communicating more effectively with everyone around me. Instead of assuming that people know the reasons why I am make a decision or do something I try to explain more clearly. I love it when someone asks me a question as I find it elicits more information from me. I am now trying to ask myself the questions and give the information more freely. Like everyone, I am a work in progress.