Sunday, September 1, 2013

Self- Reflection-The Humbling Effect

Everyone I meet teaches me something about myself! Thus, I am constantly learning and learning.

Think about the following:
“There will always be someone prettier, smarter, richer, more-successful than you.” How does that sound? If you’re an overachiever, not so great. 
However, when you apply that thought across the board it is more palatable, realizing it applies to everyone else. I remember the first time I heard that statement, it was being taught at a manners class that I had enrolled my children in. I remember thinking this is so powerful. It’s a good
reminder for all of us.

A reminder to continue to invest in our self and a reminder of humility. This summer in the course of one week, I met three very sharp individuals and I continue to meet more and more sharp minds that leave me saying “Wow. Great job”. In this case, all three of them were young men, brilliant, articulate, and engaging. Interestingly they were all Palestinian-American and they all shared the name “Ahmed or Ahmad”. Ahmad Ashkar, founder and CEO of Hult Prize, which was recognized by President Bill Clinton and Time Magazine as one of the top five ideas changing the world. Next you have Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, he is Host/Producer of Huff Post Live. Previously he launched, produced and was co-host on Al Jazeera English’s award-winning, social-media show, The Stream. Then I met 23-year old Ahmad Shami, Executive Director of Farouk Systems Palestine. You need to listen to him speak about Palestinian identity. Each of these young men,
inspiring and make you proud to know them. Each of them add value to the conversation.

Now here is the lesson, I believe many people undervalue their own unique abilities, time and time again. As a leadership coach, I teach: you only grow when you are stretched and the learning process should never stop. Daily I find myself reflecting on ways I could have improved a conversation, a meeting, an interaction or a relationship. Self-awareness and self-reflection are vital for self improvement.

Some times you win and sometimes you learn. There are times when I have the satisfaction of feeling that things went great and other times when I find myself saying, “pay attention”. Leadership is about using the head and the heart. Don’t get so comfortable with your successes that it derails you from improving. One thing I appreciate so much is to find those people that are willing to share their knowledge, ideas, and expertise. Those are the people that you appreciate and want to reciprocate with. This is the meaning of “be a river not a reservoir”. Take time to share and pass good information to others. Finally on the point of humility, I am no better than you, and I am no worse.

See you next time at a Moment with Manal.

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