President's Note - March 2017
March was astounding and brought many levels of success that took the form of challenges. As discussed in our last Take Note, time to pause and reflect is important and should not be overlooked. Our March stand-out moment was the reminder that life is juggling five balls: work, health, family, friends/colleagues and time for spirituality or introspection. Our Keynote Speaker at AFETT’s annual International Women’s Day - Women of Influence Awards Ceremony, Ms. Kristine Thompson, reminded us of the importance of this struggle. What would happen if one of those balls falls? Planning such a successful event was “chock full” of learning moments and at times the desire and the wish that it was easier came with a sincere prayer at the end of each day.
Why ask for easy
At one point the realisation will occur to all of us that no one said it would be easy, and if they did, they were sadly mistaken. As life and career intertwine mixed in with a volatile economy, hard becomes certain. For example, after a natural disaster in many parts of the world, we see islands slowly rebuilding, replanting trees and young saplings begin to sprout. Life is similar. New growth is made possible because of challenges, loss or failure. At times like this when our faith is tested, perseverance grows. Sticking out the challenges can bring you the competitive edge that you need to be successful. Whereas, it is difficult to find joy in challenges, asking for easy will not bring the level of maturity needed to face future adversities that will surely come.
Learning through challenges
Another March lesson that was driven home to us is the importance of taking criticism and turning it into positive feedback. This is beneficial once you focus on the intent of the message rather than the negative feeling it can influence. Look at the desired outcome or the bigger picture and make a decision on next steps. Growing pains are in fact painful, but once the lesson is learned, it should not be discarded. If you are not getting feedback, ask for it. Ms. Michelle Low Chew Tung, Managing Director of Inveni Business, clearly outlined the importance of personal branding. At our March EGM, she reminded us all to continue to be students to your industry and engage in strategies that make you credible.
Whilst faced with roadblocks on the path to achieving our goals, we sometimes have to endure a task or even an entire job that may not have been on our agenda. Use this as an opportunity to shine, which will eventually make your future challenges seem less painful.
Beginning the Conversation
A good way to start is having a conversation with a colleague. We are certainly looking forward to our next monthly meeting on April 27th with Ms. Karen Bart-Alexander, Social Development Activist and Conversation Intelligence Coach. She will discuss the neuroscience of conversation and provide tools for navigating the different levels of conversation to build trust and achieve results. Why not join us and bring a friend? AFETT loves the opportunity to network and you should too!
In the end remember that if you have a passion or goal you would like to accomplish, know that it will not be an easy task. Similarly, anything of value or of meaning will not be easy. Each unique experience, that sense of completion at the end of a difficult project - those feelings no one can replicate, can help you gain levels of knowledge which will give you competitiveness for future endeavours.
If you want the prize you have to put in the work.
AFETT President 2016/2017