Adjust Yourself To Where You Find Yourself
The new ‘normal’ is always shifting
Here are 3 key lessons I’ve learned from adopting Jeffrey Hound, our newest rescue sighthound.
The lessons cross over into our lives and, I believe, especially when you’re starting a new role or a job inside a new organisation. You become a learner and you notice (or you should) everything!
What do I mean by that? Well, let me show you how Jeffrey has taught me lessons which I know will help you at work as you step up and go for new, more senior, opportunities:
Work out who’s who in the zoo
You don’t have to overdo it but quickly work out who is an influencer, who’s going to keep an eye on you, who’s someone you want to be wary of and work out why. Just like hounds, we’re reading body language and personal energy all the time. It takes about 3 - 6 months to become ‘embedded’ and really see who’s who but whilst you’re doing that, you’re like a sponge. Soaking it all up and people give you the benefit of the doubt as you’re a newbie. It’s worth allowing that to be known and enjoy the time of getting-to-know-you.
Jeffrey’s lesson was knowing that one of our hounds is super-friendly and the other not at all at first. He soon worked out who to hang out with and who to steer clear of until they’d built trust. As for me, I was Pack Leader on day 1. In my world anyway...
Dive in and be respectful of the order of things
OK so you’re getting to know everyone and the way things are done but be prepared to roll your sleeves up and not tiptoe around. As you put yourself forward to be involved or be part of things it’s natural to be enthusiastic and, at the same time, watch how people are responding to you. Do you represent a threat in any way? Are you a little too like ‘Tigger’ for example? As you know, most people are wary of change and you represent change. Tread lightly. Be respectful as others adjust to you.
Jeffrey’s lesson was to assume he could sleep, pee, eat, shred anywhere and everything. He was quickly invited to consider things differently and has got used to how we do things. He watched everything and I still see him watching to work out if it’s a threat or an opportunity.
Be prepared to trip over but keep moving
So you misjudge something or you don’t catch on as quickly as you hoped. Make amends, apologise if you feel you need to and then, dust off and keep going. You are becoming part of the new normal faster than you think but as it feels weird or you wonder how to do things and don’t want to keep asking, prepare to trip up but allow that to be OK. The learning curve is steep at first but it starts to ease off as you become more familiar and embedded. Health warning. Avoid being complacent. Keep stretching yourself and learning, it keeps you nimble and gives you agility if and when you want to move again.
Jeffrey’s lesson has been bouncing up to other dogs assuming everyone’s a friend - they’re not. His speed has saved him from a nipped behind a few times. He’s more wary now. He’s also learned that shredding his Master’s favourite car magazine and theatre tickets doesn’t go down too well. Now we have a post-catcher Snowy's car mag is left well alone now.
The final point in this brief but pertinent note to you is to have fun. To allow yourself to enjoy the ride of learning, fitting in, finding out what’s what and questioning things. When you’re new you’re able to look with fresh eyes and bring your own take on things with you. Not all on Day 1 but gradually. It’s truly enlivening to put yourself in the position of a learner or a newbie.
Who knows what adventures you’ll have, who you’ll meet along the way AND just how much of a difference you’ll be able to make? Only time will tell you that.
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