I have been doing a fair amount of reading the past few days. I’m sure there is nothing in the material that would interest you; it’s for a job interview and therefore I need to ‘appraise’ myself on all there is know about the company. I have interviewed a lot of people over the years and given feedback on how improvements could be made to their performance both to successful and non-successful candidates. I found this quite rewarding as long as I put some time in preparing the 20 minutes or so I would spend with them. Now, however, I’m in the hot seat! I decided I would research interview techniques, particularly at the level I am applying for.
I was amazed to find how much emphasis was placed on questions that focussed primarily on individuals having personal reflection on their decision making in the past. I am not taking ‘why did you this’ or ‘why did you do that’, it is very much on ‘what were you thinking when you did this or that, or ‘why didn’t you do this or that?’ Now this approach opens up a whole new set of rules!
Whilst I reflected on what ‘I’ was thinking, it became apparent that a similar mindset is helpful as a Dom. One of the things I learnt about being a Dom early on was that you should avoid things happening by accident; they should be planned and executed in a way you think is best. I should say that it doesn’t mean you ignore input or for that matter discount your sub’s opinion. Afterwards, there should be a period of reflection, take time to walk through what went right, and what didn’t go so well. It is so easy just to keep marching on without checking the impact behind you.
I wish I took more time to reflect, or were you thinking that I did? I have a short attention span, I know this and so does Missy. I could spend an hour painting woodwork and think of nothing other than painting woodwork. If I spend 20 minutes just thinking about one thing, that is all you would get before other things creep in. At school I would watch the aircraft drawing chalk lines in the sky with their vapour trails and wonder where people where going to. This would invariably end up with two linked outcomes, firstly, I would be transported off somewhere warm, sunny with palm trees and white sand. Secondly, I would receive a slap round the head from the teacher, or if he was lazy, a wooden board rubber would ricochet off my desk. Such an effective reengagement tool!
You see, I even manage to digress in one paragraph!
I feel, however, that beyond all decision making processes, you should be able to justify your reason for either doing something, or doing nothing. Shrugging your shoulders when faced with a question should not be an option. Good leaders know where they are on the map. They know where they have been and what the best route if going forward, and that’s because they take time to reflect previous journeys and understand how decisions were made and what was learnt from them.
As for me, this is a good reminder of how I should conduct myself. I take a lot of time helping others with guidance, and yet spend very little time doing it for me. Getting my thought processes down does help a lot, and allows me to think more about why I did, or why I didn’t!