Thursday, 10 March 2016

"You are who you surround yourself with"

Do you remember your parents tell you as a teenager or earlier not to hang out with that boy - he's bad news? Or even that girl for that matter? I guess at the time it's hard to see things through someone else's eyes but as we grow older and wiser we begin to see things from a slightly different angle. One or two of us may also have heard the "cliché" "You are who you surround yourself with". Well perhaps there's a little more truth to it than just another old cliché.

It's easy to follow, we do it every day. Whether it's purchasing a fashionable product, following our beloved team or even doing it because your best mate is - it happens all the time. That's not to see there's anything wrong with it, but you have to start questioning ourselves when it starts having a negative impact. Not just in our professional lives but also our personal lives. It is so easy to be influenced by what our closest friends do or in the workplace or classroom, the leaders.

Perhaps that cliché has been a little bit like water off a duck's back with me for thirty odd years too many, but I've always believed in the "journey" being a learning curve all the way. Perhaps no surprise that I only joined university at 37! I have always had a hunger for learning, even in senior management I tried to learn new things, styles and great qualities off other people, every day.

So how does this "You are who you surround yourself with" change who you are? Surely you are who you are and being the strong one, there's no way others will change you! Well let me tell you, it can happen without you even realising! There are certain less attractive qualities in life unfortunately which can spread like a plague. Negativeness for one..... Ever heard someone always having something negative to say about something or someone? What's your reaction? Do you agree with him/her at the time or do you challenge it? Sadly I have seen so many people take pleasure in the sorrow of others..... The Germans have come up with a great name for it.... "Schadenfreude" which literally means "harm-joy". Do you really want to be surrounded with friends of that nature? How often would you hear someone talk badly of someone else yet when you see the two of them together, they seem like great mates? Do you think there's any chance he'll be saying something bad about you? Probably not, because you don't have any faults right?? Lucky you!! Or perhaps rather unlucky you.

There are an endless amount of negative qualities I could waste my morning on but let's not do that. I rather want to focus on positives and why we should concentrate being surrounded by people who's positive outlook on life rubs off on us. Take the work place for instance..... That manager who walks in every morning with a huge smile and who greets everyone by their name, the one who asks you how your weekend's been and if your little boy won their football match! The guy who takes time in getting to know you and therefore remembers every worker's name. Or your colleague who has no problem in sorting out a problem you caused and who ends up working an hour longer than expected despite still having to put food on the table at home, but does it because she cares. Isn't it great when we are surrounded by happy, good people. people who care, people who help others, not expecting a favour in return but because they care. What is life without love?

Isn't it time we focus on being that manager walking in with a smile, taking a minute to ask how we're doing or that lady staying on an hour later? Isn't it time we start caring about one another and be positive about things, enjoying seeing others succeed rather than gaining pleasure in someone else's failure or bad mouthing a mate? If we start spending time with people who care, those who are driven to succeed without harming others being the driving force, those who carry a constant smile on their face and those who don't mind opening a door for another, instead of those spreading a negative plague, I can promise you, the work place, the classroom, the bar, the house, the world would be a much better place. I have seen people change in a space of a year in front of me, I myself have experienced a change, it is so easy. It's not easy changing those people spreading a negative plague and sometimes being the leader of positiveness have no impact, but instead of leaving them behind, perhaps get them into that positive circle and one by one they too may eventually change.....

Friday, 12 February 2016

Stay ahead of the game by staying on top of things.

One of the easiest things in life must be the ability to put things off! Well, it certainly has been the case for me over the years. That moment when you decide, "I can do this later"..... I suppose we've all done it, some maybe more than others. It goes back to my blog last year, "Where do we find the time?" and time management. It is about prioritising things in order of importance and finding the balance between what we want and what we need.

As we are into our second half of the degree, things are slowly but surely beginning to get busier with a workload  which quickly builds up. Homework, presentations preparations, group work and communication, our own business plan and a live event are only some of the things we need to stay on top of and if we allow ourselves to put things off, we will be creating a massive workload which might be too hard to handle later down the line.

It is therefore essential, and I have made it my goal, to do whatever I can can to complete any task, or make as much progress on any given task, as soon as I can. Not only should it make the entire job easier, preventing me from having to race against a deadline, but it is easier to remember what was said in class. I know it might sound easier said that done, but even an hour set aside after a lecture, could make a huge difference. So far so good..... let's hope I can keep it up and stay on top of things.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Research Methods Presentation

It's hard to believe it was only around 15 months ago we were introduced to SPSS! Today we presented on our results we submitted and now I even know the difference between ANOVA tests and t-tests, homogeneity of variance and Shapiro-Wilk tests, degrees of freedom and scale of measurement as well as Sphericity and Greenhouse-Geisser tests. Who would have thought!

I've always enjoyed working with numbers, in particular statistics, so it's rather nice that this element of research is part of our course. At least it tests our brain somewhat and it's amazing how much one can learn when you put your mind to it! I remember how most of us pulled our noses up to to SPSS saying it doesn't apply to us, but I also remember one of our lectures saying, "get an understanding for it and it will become one of your best friends"! I can see the truth in it, and I actually can't wait to put it into practice next time I do a research project.

I enjoyed working with Jodie and we're both quite happy with how our presentation went. Of course there is room for improvement but I'm really happy with my own progress with regards to confidence in presenting without any notes - even used the laser on the clicker - as well as understanding which test to use with different types of data and interpreting the results, including what to do when assumptions are violated.

Onwards and upwards from here, so thank you Jodie and thank you Andy Field!