My children often ask me “what do you actually do at work Dad?” and to be honest, over the years I have struggled to answer the question with any level of clarity or conviction. For self-assurance, more than anything, I have tried to resolve this question in my own mind.
In principle, there are four aspects to peoples’ work, and as you evolve into varying roles, the weighting of these elements changes significantly.
We all usually start with doing. Because this is where we start, and it is normally how we and others measure our performance, it is easy to place too much weight on its importance as we grow. In fact, it can hinder our growth. While it is critical initially, as we evolve, we realise that doing can be limiting.
The second aspect of our work that is encouraged is thinking. There are two components to this. Thinking about how we can work more effectively ourselves, and hence improve the doing, and thinking about how we can improve other things around us. This element is very rewarding. We recognise our own value more, we see the positive influence on others and our environment, and this realisation leads into the third aspect.
We start to utilise our feelings. We want to feel valued and appreciated. We place more importance on relationships and trust. We want to influence the feelings of others. We start to recognise the importance of feelings and how directly relatable they are to performance and wellbeing.
And finally, once we have travelled this journey, we start sharing. We share our experiences, we pass on our knowledge, we educate and inform, we provide guidance, and through this sharing, we utilise the talents of others to replicate all the above.
In summary, do-ing is about achievement. Think-ing is about improvement. Feel-ing is about development and share-ing is about fulfillment.
So, what do I do at work? Not much doing, a bit of thinking, lots of feeling, and I am flat out sharing. How cool is that!