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Friday, 17 October 2008

Performance Review

As a boss I have to conduct formal performance reviews once a year with my staff. I have discovered that this process tends to focus heavily on people's weaknesses and brushes over their strengths. I have also discovered that there are just some things people aren't good at, and even though they try to change, in the end, they are just not that good at some things.

With this in mind, I have built a team where one's weaknesses is offset by another's strengths and vice versa. I know who to ask to do what because I know who will do the best job. There is no value judgment, people know what they are crap at, and forcing them to excel at the crap things is frustrating and demoralising. We all know where we stand, and things work out just fine.

In the spirit of USA (Unconditional Self Acceptance - which is a whole 'nother post) I am recognising and accepting that there are things that I just won't ever excel at and also things I am brilliant at that I should just accept and use to my advantage.

1. All or nothing thinking

I am crap at moderation. Working really hard at a project and having high goals keeps me stimulated and motivated. Halfway is not in my vocabulary.

I can use this to my advantage by using my focus and energy to train hard and be strict with my eating. But I also recognise that by having such high standards means I WILL fail. If I build an expectation of faltering into my nutrition and eating plans I minimise guilt and dissapointment. It's OK to be hard on myself, as long as I know that I will never achieve perfection. I have now removed the ongoing frustration of trying to be moderate when I am not.

2. Bored easily or Loves change

I find it difficult to stick to something once the challenge has gone out of it. If I accept that I will always be a diet slut then I can get on with trying whatever this week's eating plan is. There is no reason to think that changing things around all the time means I have a character flaw. Every experience teaches me something new as makes my days exciting and adventurous.

3. I need to know why

I question everything and try to boil it down to 'just the facts mam'. I am simply motivated by reason. If there is sound theory behind an idea I will give it a go. If I am convinced that doing x will lead to y then I will just get on and do it. I am constantly learning about biology, genetics, psychology and spirituality and find gathering knowledge as important as doing the work. Scepticism is not a weakness.

4. I am fiercely independent

I can do anything I want to - even on my own. I have everything I will ever need right here inside me. I love encouragement and other people's perspective on things, but it all boils down to me in the end. My desire for solitude is not destructive - the best safe haven I have is within.

Of course I recognise that I can choose to take baby steps to improve on my weaknesses, but there is no compulsion to change, nor is there anything wrong with me just the way I am right now. I will work on being more moderate, on creating new positive habits through repetition, on having more faith and accepting there are things I can't do on my own, but none of that is a requirement for me to be evaluated as 'good' or 'loved'.

My self acceptance is UNCONDITIONAL. I don't have to fix myself, I just have to recognise myself for who I am and get on with doing my best.

It feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

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