The unit I am currently studying is all about managing oneself and others. I guess its principal aim is to encourage me to evaluate my management style and become more self- aware so I can conduct my business and interactions with others more effectively.
We had an online meeting tonight as the first assignment is due before the first workshop and we used a meeting tool called ZOOM, which I have to say was a pretty optimistic name given that it froze repeatedly and kicked me out twice. The national broadband network is rolling out across Australia at the speed of tectonic plate movement, roughly equivalent to the speed of my so-called ADSL 2 broadband, which just about reaches dial-up speeds on a good day so it was always going to be a tough gig. I have to say, though I did enjoy the ‘gallery’ style interface, which had us all lined up and down like the opening credits of The Brady Bunch. I did try to silently invoke the reference as the lecturer spoke, by looking down, then to the right and the left, but no-one joined in.
To prepare for the meeting I did a couple of activities, one of which was a DISC profile, which involved answering a load of questions about myself and then getting back a summary which shaded in quadrants marked as follows: dominance, influence, steadiness and conscientiousness. It was like being 14 again and going the personality quiz in Jackie magazine that all teenage girls love to do because (a) they want to find out that they are wildly attractive and (b) because they are all deeply narcissistic.
I was skeptical; the questions kept repeating themselves, slightly rephrased, but I know this is a trick used by surveys to counter false answers (which may or may not mean I was also paranoid). I was also a little impatient at the idea of having to grade myself on a scale of 1-5 against statements such as, ‘I am gentle.’
Well of course I am gentle, who would not be gentle as they are holding the soft white furry head of Lucy in their hands as she gazes up at you with her beautiful almond-shaped eyes?
On the other hand, there was that night when I had to fit a three piece sofa in the skip and literally broke it down into a pile of fabric and sticks with nothing but a penknife, my trusty Blundstone boots (not steel capped) and my bare hands.
I mean gentle depends on the context, doesn’t it? Like that time when I wanted to place a gentle kiss on my boyfriend’s lips and pulled him down to me where I was sitting on the bed, except I was a little too playful and he missed my head, got off balance and shot straight past my shoulder planting his nose into the wall behind me. I mean, I was trying to be gentle, that is what counts, isn’t it? And I mopped up the blood from the resulting nosebleed gently – plus he is now my husband so I guess he forgave me, eventually.
So I ticked gentle, but DISC was not buying it for a second, it even told me off at the end as this self-assessment did not quite fit with my results, which showed a heavy leaning towards Dominance: I see the big picture, I accept a challenge, but some may perceive me as blunt.
Blunt? What on earth are they talking about? I mean, I guess I did tell that lady today that I liked her dress even if it did slightly make her look as if she had just come from an Amish village, but it was a compliment, OK? I really am a nice gentle person, just deal with it.