Archive for January, 2010
For several years now I have been expecting something to happen. I’ve been looking out for an unexpected attraction to leather trousers and a hitherto unexpressed fascination with Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
As each birthday passes and I discover I still haven’t given up all of my worldly possessions and trekked off to the Himalayas to ‘find myself’, I increasingly wonder what’s wrong with me.
Imagine that you were receiving feedback on something you had worked on along with a colleague. Which of these two scenarios would you prefer?
- Scenario 1: You receive great feedback from your supervisor, but your colleague receives even better feedback.
- Scenario 2: You receive really negative feedback from your supervisor but your colleague receives significantly worse feedback.
On the face of it, Scenario 1 seems to be the best situation; you are receiving great feedback rather than negative feedback. However, in one study, certain people experiencing Scenario 2 reported feeling happier and more self confident than those experiencing Scenario 1. They would rather do better than their peers even if it meant performing much worse overall. Not everyone felt this way, though. In fact, it was only people who reported themselves as being generally unhappy who engaged in this social comparison. Happy people were just pleased to get a good report and didn’t measure themselves against other people.
What makes some people more sensitive to their relative success than to their absolute success? And what implications does this have for career decision making?
According to Barry Schwartz and his colleagues the unhappy people are ‘maximisers’ and the happy people are ‘saticficers’.
One of the most difficult things about networking is how to let people know about your dazzling achievements without appearing to be an overbearing self-publicist. Some recent research has looked at when it might be safe to boast and when it might damage your reputation.
I was really pleased by the response to an earlier post in which I described my own Zones model. People seem to have found it helpful in framing what is going on with a client during a discussion. Buoyed by this success, I thought I would present another model that I tend to use in my practice. Because of the shape of the diagram, I call it the Trident model. As usual, it has been inspired by a number of different sources (see the Further Reading list at the end), but it was mainly triggered by the debate over the differences between the Counselling and Coaching approaches to guidance and the relative merits of action and reflection.
Personally, I find it useful to keep track of the balance and focus of a discussion with a client.
Several years ago I made a New Year’s resolution which I have managed to keep ever since. I resolved never to make a New Year’s resolution again. It makes things a lot simpler and I no longer disappoint myself when inevitably I revert to my old ways after a couple of weeks.
At the New Year many people resolve to do something about their career — get out of that dead end job, find work that is more meaningful, make faster progress, etc. As a result we often see increased interest in our careers consultancy service, C2, in January.
How successful are such career resolutions likely to be and what could give people genuine hope for the future?