I am writing this blog entry just after returning to the office from a session of the Leadership and management course I am enrolled on. Despite being a little warm and out of breath after a power walk up the hill, it has left me feeling really positive. I have so far completed two of the eight sessions and have found them both informing and inspiring. As I said in my previous post, for me, the best thing about being an intern is the opportunity it provides to develop personally and professionally. Today's course was about how we act towards other members of staff and students who we come into contact with on a daily basis, the service we provide and receive. We all enjoy receiving a high level of customer service wherever we go; therefore it is important that we are also willing to provide the very best.
The session ended with a presentation by Catherine Olley, the Accommodation and Commercial Services Continuous Improvement Manager. Catherine's talk really made me think about the way in which we interact with each other daily and how the smallest thing, such as offering a smile and a warm hello, can make the biggest difference. If we are having a bad day, rather than not talking to anyone and passing on our negative feelings, we need to make an extra effort. Similarly, if we notice someone is having a particularly tough day/week, we should do our best to help them.
Another reason why Catherine's talk was so great was that we each got a tube of Smarties at the end! Although chocolate in itself is a wonderful thing, there was a point behind it. Catherine encouraged us to set ourselves S.M.A.R.T.I.E.S. goals or objectives. Although I had heard of S.M.A.R.T. targets before, the addition of the final three letters makes a real difference:
Specific, Measurable, Realistic, Time bound, Intent, Emotion, Satisfying.
Not only can we set such targets for our work/academic life but also for our personal development. We all feel there is something we could better about ourselves, or a way to think and feel differently. By setting goals with SMARTIES critieria we stand a much better chance of achieving them. As I said previously, for me the addition of the last three letters is significant. If it is something we really want to achieve, feel strongly about and will gain genuine satisfaction from undertaking it is far more likely that we will try our hardest to achieve it. When I think back to the start of my internship there were many things that I wished to achieve. Although I am happy that I have reached some of these goals, or am well on the way to doing so, there are others which I have not yet tackled. For these I now intend to set myself SMARTIES targets to give myself the best possible chance of success.
I think we could all benefit from this kind of thinking, bettering ourselves in some way which may go on to positively affect those around us and in turn will leave us feeling better about ourselves.
Now, as if I didn't consume enough chocolate over the Easter weekend, I'm off to enjoy my (edible) Smarties!!