Monday, September 03, 2007

A course and a car

So, I am now a day and a half into the course and it is a lot of hard work and very intensive. So much from my break from work! The course started with the inevitable introductions and then it was straight down to it with our first exercise briefing. All this on a Sunday evening when I should be enjoying a film and a bottle of wine!

Today, the pace increased. We started by completing the Strength Deployment Inventory (SDI) which helps to assess your strengths in both 'fair weather' and 'conflict' situations. The SDI categorises you as a 'type' of person with various behavioural traits:

Red: These are assertive, goal focused people who take decisive action and are constantly on the lookout for opportunity.

Green: These tend to be cautious analytical people who judge carefully before acting. They are predominantly concerned with practicalities, fairness, weighing up the issues and using careful consideration before acting.

Blue: These are people-focused carers who consider the needs of others before their own. They are warm and friendly and will defend the rights of others over and above everything else.

Hub: This type of motivation is a combination of all three colours and reflects people who are adaptable, good at team building and able to see issues from a number of different viewpoints.

Of course, there are people, like me, that are 'blends', that is they are a mix of two of the colours and I fell into this category. Having this information is an advantage as it helps you understand your value system and what motivates you. Understanding your motivations helps you to communicate effectively with others, and to get more from interpersonal relationships, it also helps you to develop an insight into the ways in which you, and others around you, alter your habitual behaviour, especially in conflict situations. This understanding can then be used to make choices and change behaviour to bring about improvements in how you manage others, act in a team and communicate. That is the theory at least. I found it very illuminating. It immediately made some things very clear that immediately spoke to me. It wasn't a 'Road to Damascus' moment but it was like upgrading turning on a light. I now understand why I behave in certain ways and more importantly, why some people might not understand my behaviour. Make no mistakes though, this is simply a tool. I know it will not make me a more effective person overnight but understanding something is the first step to making improvements. I liked the way this inventory took account of the shift in behaviour we all make when we are in stressful situations too.

After this we scarcely had time to draw breath before we received another brief for a group exercise and then later on we were divided yet again into groups and briefed on another group exercise. More on these in a later post as we will be completing these tasks over the next couple of days. In that respect this course is designed very much to be 'work like' where we are not doing just one thing at a time but juggling tasks and priorities and planning ahead and dealing with different people and sometimes conflicting situations. This is the essence of the course, as throughout we gauge our own and others effectiveness. Everyday there is an hour session where we give and provide feedback and we have been warned that we will not always be comfortable with what we hear. I will let you know how it goes.

Meanwhile, thanks to all those who took a guess at the mystery car. Those of you who guessed the Ford Edsel can give yourselves a big pat on the back from me. Below is a picture of the car from the front. Check out that chrome!

The Edsel is best known as being one of the biggest automotive flops of all time. Indeed, the name is synonymous with marketing failure. The model in the photographs is the 'Corsair'.

There is no single reason why the Edsel failed, and failed so spectacularly. Popular culture often faults the car’s styling. Poor workmanship has also been cited and marketing experts hold the Edsel up as a supreme example of corporate America’s failure to understand the nature of the American consumer. Business analysts cite the weak internal support for the product inside Ford’s executive offices. The Edsel was "the wrong car at the wrong time."

I took these photo's on a recent day out to the Science museum. More photos from that trip coming soon. Meanwhile come back to find out how I am doing on my course and if I end up throttling one of the other women on the course who is very annoying. If you have a black cat, apparently hers is blacker. You know the type!


OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I wish you much luck as this course goes on, my dear...It sounds quite complex and dense, too....

I missed your post about What car was that? But I remember The Edsel well....As you said, a Disaster! One wonders how the same company that could come up with The Thunderbird, could come up with The Edsel! LOL!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Ohhhh I forgot to say....Sweetie seems to be doing a lot better than me...This heat really has ne down in every way...Just moving around a little IN THE HOUSE, causes extrewme persperation and makes my lungs hurt....PRAY thAt this breaks soon....!

mar said...

I am amazed by the fact that you still find some time to blog while participating in this complex course. Or maybe it's exactly what you need to unwind!
It sounds very, very interesting. And loved the pics too !

November Rain said...

wow the course sounds tough
I am with Mar
how do you find the time to blog

Ps said...

This course you are doing sounds very much like something I'd love to do.I was wondering how you complete the SDI--is it like a questionairre which has many choices or are there given situations and you pick how you would act?
No doubt, emotional intelligence is something that has to be be inherent (or cultivated it it isn't)if one has to move forward in life.(Whether career or family life or generally connecting with others)
Good luck on the course.I'll surely be reading whatever else you have to say.
Maybe this course will also tell us ow to deal with 'those' types! :-)

R. Sherman said...

Re: The Edsel. Henry Ford hated his son trying to horn in on the design and helped torpedo the car from the beginning. I'm green, BTW.


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Hey, I was right! I'm impressed with myself.

As for the blacker cat lady, just smile at her and tell her she's right, then go and do your own thing. I've got a few of those types in the extended family so I'm feeling for ya.

kenju said...

Good luck in the course, Bob-kat!

I remember the Edsel and believe it or not, I once had a date with a guy named Edsel. He was a dud too!

Melody said...

Urgh. You have one of 'those' people in your course. Poor you. Do they do those 'what colour are you' programs across the world do they? Lyndon recently went on a training thing for his work for 3 days on the Gold Coast (about 1500k's from here) and they did the same thing!

Tawcan said...

The course sounds tough. Good luck with it. :)

rashbre said...

Good luck with the course; sounds interesting and a good way to learn about yourself. Always fun.

I don't think I've ever seen a picture of an Edsel but from the side it looks quite like an old British car called a corsair, which was a circa 1960s variant of the old old Cortina. The middle picture gives the greatest resemblance, but I expect the Edsel is much bigger.


Stephanie Davies said...

I think I'm a "grey" LOL Is there a category for people who are independent, dislike teamwork and prefer to work alone? Oh yeah....they are called managers :P (j/k!!)

Actually it was a very informative post...and my mother would adore that car!!

Michele sent me to say hello to you tonight :)

Ramona said...

This car is FANTASTIC!!! Love the colour.
Good luck on your course, may you survive 'the witch with the blackest cat!"