Lessons Learned & Random Ramblings

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Listen, Listen, Listen…. August 18, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kate @ 7:00 pm
“Every person in this life has something to teach me — and as soon as I accept that, I open myself to truly listening.” ~ Catherine Doucette
It may come as a shock to some, but I occasionally have a bit of a problem not talking. This creates a particular disadvantage when I don’t necessarily know what I am talking about — which also happens on occasion.
I just started a new job and it is quite unlike anything I have ever really done before – particularly since I am essentially teaching it to myself. I’ve always worked in jobs in which I am very comfortable, in which I have had great training and in which, after short time, I am the “expert” or at the very least – the best option. So far, I am not the expert in my new job which means I have to be really good at making new friends, smiling and being friendly and most importantly accepting that I need to learn from each person that I meet in my new organization whether they empty the trash cans in my office or sign my paycheck.
So, while thinking about how important it was for me to be open minded and to become a sponge willing to learn, I came across the quote above (FYI – if you haven’t already noticed, I LOVE QUOTES!) and I thought it was particularly good at summing up how I was feeling. I am working on recognizing that in my new position, I might have a great track record and I may come in as a well-respected new hire but I have a LOT to learn and I need to listen really well to everyone I encounter — and even to the silence around me — to make that happen!

Showing Appreciation August 6, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kate @ 3:25 am
“Appreciation…acknowledges the presence of good wherever you shine
the light of your thankful thoughts.” ~ Alan Cohen
I have come to realize that one of the best gifts we can give one and other is our appreciation, our thanks – whether it be for something specific like a gift or favor, for friendship or kindness in general, for going above and beyond or for something unique and special.
Change, it seems to me, and appreciation go hand in hand. One of the best things we can do for each other – particularly during times of change – is share why we are grateful and thankful for each other.
I think these things are on my mind for a couple of reasons. The first is that I am changing jobs. I am VERY excited about the new opportunities (yes, plural — full time and part time!) and the new challenges. However, like with any life change, there has been associated reflection. In my case, I am leaving a job in which I worked with youth (teen girls in particular) and I find I am evaluating my impact of their lives and their impact on mine. On my last day, two of the girls presented me with a gift and although it was very nice and very thoughtful, I was more impressed with the cards the girls gave me. The way they expressed their appreciation for me was more important to me than any material object they could have shared. They let me know that I made a difference in their lives and their thanks and words of appreciation will stay with me wherever my life and my career may lead.
The second change is that a good friend is moving and for the last two years that I have known her she has become such an amazing friend. She is the very best personal cheerleader and support system that a girl could ask for. She does thoughtful things all the time and I am sure I don’t even know about all of them! She is the kind of person that trumpets your successes and celebrates your accomplishments. She has had such an incredible influence on me – particularly over the last year — and she has helped me to find success I didn’t even know that I was capable of. I am not sure if she realizes how phenomenal she is but the things she does just because she is being herself are thoughtful, compassionate and remarkable. She is amazing and I hope that she knows how much I appreciate her!
Between my girls and my good friend, I have had two important reminders of how good it feels to be appreciated and celebrated. This blog is to say thank you to all of those in my life who have helped me to become who I am today – and who have cheered me on as I embark on new and exciting personal and professional opportunities — and to remind me to constantly show them how much I appreciate the impact they make in my life and in the lives of others.