Our Digital Peer Network group is coming to an end. In a couple of weeks it will be all over. When it started I would have been glad of its impending completion yet as the weeks have gone by and the discussions have become more interesting, part of me wishes it would continue. Perhaps there will be another opportunity sometime.
The action centred learning approach has certainly thrown up some new things for us to think about and I admit that I have learnt such a lot. Thea and I have acted as facilitators though I have probably taken away as much as any of the other participants. There have also been some great ideas.
One such idea is a ‘Readme’ file. We were talking about how to manage different people and how complex it can be. In truth all of us are different yet there are different characteristics that can seemingly bind us into smaller and recognisable groups. This is the stuff of personality tests, a subject which invokes strong negative emotions in me, yet when used correctly as a tool to try and understand people’s behaviour it can be undoubtedly useful.
In my opinion, and that of the group, good management comes from a good understanding of the people you are managing and vice versa. Getting to know someone is key to the process yet how do we get the chance to do so when work, with its hierarchies and politics, is not always conducive to interaction?
Thai is where the ‘Readme’ file comes in. When someone new starts in the organisation, they are asked to complete a short form describing how they like to be treated, including such things as how they wish to be referred to, how they like to assimilate information, what is the best way to correspond with them and the skills and strengths they believe that possess. There are other things as well.
The purpose of the file is twofold. It allows people to understand how people see themselves and describes the way they want to interact. Perhaps even more importantly it gives the person who writes it an opportunity to really give some thought as to who they think they are and how they want to be perceived.
It is little tips like this that have made the peer network so worthwhile.