I still have work to do…

About a month ago, I attended training on a new tool to help match individuals to a job, or to help coach them on a deeper level. This new tool can identify someone’s capacity in various attributes, and how they view the world, understand systems and people. The tool doesn’t stop at the outside world.

This new approach also takes a peek at how you are doing on the inside. Do you understand and balance your various roles, do you see your future as bright or muddled, and are you moving forward or just hanging on.

During the training, the instructor eventually passed out our results throughout the room. My little table of four slowly received the results and each person began flipping through the pages to gain some insight. Somewhat guarded, we all peered at the pages occasionally glancing at the others at the table. Eventually we shared the results.

Despite the individual variation, there was one theme. Each person at the table had a good handle on other people and how to help them (most were consultants or HR professionals), but all of us could use a little work on ourselves. I couldn’t help but feel a little uneasy and my Narrator seemed to try to tell me that unless I get my own act together, I shouldn’t be telling others how to improve.

In the far left corner of the room, there was another consultant. This consultant has been working with individuals and companies for almost 43 years. When speaking or providing insight during the session the room hushed as if everyone in the room wanted to let the words and insight of this wise sage penetrate our minds. It was amazing and intimidating at the same time.

This consultant called me yesterday. Mostly because of my half-joking statement at the end of class when each of us was asked to say what we learned the most during the training.

“I learned that I need to be coached by you” I said speaking directly to that consultant.

It got a laugh, but imagine my surprise during our call. When we were discussing some of the potential areas I may need to develop and work on, I heard the following.

“You know Carl, when I read my own results and report, I realize that I still have work to do.”

It was reassuring that someone who has worked with others almost as long as I have been alive still has work to do and their development journey is far from over.

This conversation reminded me that there are two paths.

One path makes a bold statement.

“I have it all figured out and I will tell you how to make your life, career, job, and world better.”

The second path echoes the simpler statement I heard while on the phone.

“We are on this collective journey together. We still have work to do and if some of the insights we learn help us…great. Let’s see where this takes us.”

I still have work to do, and I look forward to this journey together.