Journaling!


02 Jul 2020

Published by Rajiv Krishnan Pisharoti

My interest in subject of journaling happened in many ways out of professional compulsion. I am an HR professional who have had opportunity to conduct various training programs. In organizations in India as well as few overseas. 

Some of my training programs have been on subject ‘Management Development’. Same called by different names in different organizations. 

Invariably feedback at the end of the session has ranged between ‘great to very great’, depending on scale used. 

However it’s also happened this “wow feedback” got diminished and sometimes drastically, within few days of program ending. 

When spoken to these clients after a few days, feedback turned into “You know, the program was good, no doubt, but it’s again back to square one, over here”…….. “Nothing really has changed on the ground” ………”We are not seeing any great improvements post program”………… “It seems people are not implementing what they learnt in session”…... etc. etc!.

I could only feel disappointed hearing this. 

Over a period of time I also came across clients who stopped conducting such programs altogether or at best started doing same through internal resources. 

In conversations with these clients, many a times, this question would also be brought up… ‘Can Management Development happen over a period of 1/2 /3 days?’ ‘Isn’t it too much to expect?’. ….. ‘Can behavioural change happen after attending a 1 or 2 days training program?’..etc. etc

Frankly if I look back, I don’t think I would have given any satisfying reply and sometimes not even attempted to. Simply because clients experience is what it is. And in these cases it’s not been satisfying to them. 

Never the less, I have also asked them, a few times “ Why are you doing this, then? Why bother inhouse resources for a program that you are convinced will not shape out well? …Answers from have varied… some has even been “ because there is a demand for this program and we can’t resist”.  

May be some of you reading this is familiar with the scenario above! Could be with varying degrees. 

However there was this lingering question at the back of my mind for sure– Could there be a simple, sustainable way for Managers to learn and grow? 

The title of a Harvard Business Review article, that I reproduce as excerpts below, did catch my attention. (Reprinted with permission from "The More Senior Your Job Title, the More You Need to Keep a Journalby Dan Ciampa, hbr.org, July 2017]

The French philosopher Blaise Pascal pointed out that “All of humanity’s problems come from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” 

 

He didn’t mean sitting quietly in front of a laptop responding to emails. The best thinking comes from structured reflection — and the best way to do that is keeping a personal journal.

 

There’s strong evidence that replaying events in our brain is essential to learning

 

Naturally the subject of journaling made me curious. I started seeking out more information. 

  1. 8 Great Journaling Tips
  2. Journal Your Way to a New Job

3.     https://medium.com/@mintestudio/5-celebrities-who-keep-a-journal-a6888bc2a42b

4.     6 Ways Keeping a Career Journal Can Help Your Career

Enough to mention, I felt convinced this is a simple yet powerful tool for professional and personal development. Our own experiences teaches us best! If only we spend some time a day ( 10 to 15 mins) recording same and reflecting on same. 

I started maintaining one since last 5 years and its worked very well for me. 

The benefits are ranging from being therapeutic, to being a good stress reliever, to being happy indulging in a good hobby , to learning from my personal experiences and even some more. It could vary for you. Essentially to each their own!

The most I liked from this exercise is this taught me to be restraint. There were moments when I felt like “give it back” and even to Bosses or seniors in organizations where I worked. ‘Give it back’ to some clients even. However this practice has often reminded it’s better to vent it out on my journal pages rather than then on people. 

Looking back, I am happy – for this meant greater control over emotions. Not to mention, many relationships got saved along the way. So also what could have been personal embarrassments, only to regret later.  

No doubt this is useful and highly recommended for professional managers. 

Even if you are not working these days, jobless or going through moments in life trying to figure out what could be my way forward – Journal it. 

Vent it all on your pages of ‘Memoir”. Don’t bother as to who will read or not read. Just write your thoughts, emotions, and whatever you feel. You will feel light and good, that’s for sure. You will also gain lots of personal insights. 

In case you are new to this practice and wondering how do I make a beginning. You can start by answering the below questions to yourself every day.

1.    What am I grateful for today?

a.    Xxx

b.    Xxx

c.     Xxx

2.    What made me happy today?

a.    Xxx

b.    Xxx

c.     Xxx

3.    What did I do well today?

a.    Xxx

b.    Xxx

c.     Xxx

4.    What could have gone better today?

a.    Xxx

b.    Xxx

c.     Xxx

5.    What’s that one learning for me, from today?

Some experts have suggested its best to hand write. However you may record digitally if it suits, but make a beginning. 

If you miss writing a few days, don’t bother much, start writing again. 

This method of journaling will evolve for you and you will eventually settle in with a template that suits you best. You can even do a random web check for a suitable template. 

Whatever template you choose, make it a point to record in it & read them after a period of time. You will enjoy. You will learn. You may even want to share with people around.

 As time goes and you become consistent in this practice, you will have lots of your life experiences to reflect, learn, enjoy and share.  Others will also benefit.  

This could even be a precious legacy you left behind – your valuable life experiences. 

Check it out.

Rajiv Krishnan Pisharoti is an HR professional of more than two decades. He can be contacted at [email protected] or [email protected] or [email protected]

 


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