Self-awareness was one of the buzz terms from the Clore week. I thought that I was generally quite aware of myself - I don't invade people's personal space, I can generally tell if I've upset someone - but doing exercises to show how we make decisions and how we naturally act were very enlightening.
We were asked to consider what people in our institution, whom we have never met, thought of us. This was really tricky. I realised that I have no idea what sort of impression of me is out there nor do I necessarily want to find out! I have previously considered my personal brand when I was doing my Masters and that's why I try to have the same photograph of myself on professional platforms and use the same name on Twitter and on my blog for consistency. But I hadn't really considered how others perceive me at work. It's probably a good thing that I am not too caught up in what others think of me but it would be useful to consider my reputation and which characteristics I have that come across predominantly.
Although I am now more aware of how I am perceived and how I may come across in meetings, I am not sure that I yet have the capacity to change it. I feel like I have taken the first step, by acknowledging that I will be perceived in certain ways and I am trying not to be too hard on myself for not having the energy at the moment to change it. I think I'd like to take a step back, consider how I come across and then rationally decide if and how I want to change it. This will take some time and I suspect I'll need quite a thick skin for it. One thing that has happened independently at work since Clore is that those undertaking archive work placements now fill in feedback forms about their time in the Archive and I did find myself embracing the opportunity to improve as a manager rather than feeling personally aggrieved by their comments. A promising start!