Honesty is the best policy

This is one of the values instilled into me growing up. On the rare occasion I did lie to my parents (blaming the elderly next-door neighbour for the smell of cigarettes for example) I found myself confessing within the next 24 hours. I couldn’t bear the guilt. Of course, my parents knew it was my friends and me who snuck out and smoked too close to the house. So, when I told them the truth, everyone felt better.

Honesty does that.

Rewind to 16 May, this year’s Learning at Work Week (with the theme Learning Uncovered) was getting underway. To show our support we got involved by asking everyone at RY the question “What’s learning uncovered for you?” What I loved about the conversations this sparked was just how honest everyone was.

None of us are mind readers

We heard from Sarah who owned up to thinking she had a natural ability to accurately read people. That was until a coach pointed out that thinking she can read other people’s minds isn’t a level-headed thing to do. So, she learnt asking questions and checking assumptions is better. Something she now practices daily.   

Seeking out solutions and reassurance

Daniel told us that starting out his career, he found himself questioning his approach. But when he attended a D&AD course with Michael Johnson, he was relieved to find that his approach wasn’t dissimilar to Michael’s. This gave him a boost of confidence. Daniel encouraged us to find the space for training. Because whether it is knowledge gained or cemented, both are great for our self-esteem.

Jumping in at the deep end

Sink or swim is an interesting development approach. Stretch assignments, new challenges, and going outside of our comfort zones are excellent ways to develop, but there must be buoyancy aids to help us swim. No one wants to drown. For Jess, she explained that despite not having the strongest manager at a previous company, she leant loads from a period of being thrown in at the deep end. She admitted it wasn’t always easy and she questioned herself, but she drew on her curiosity and connections and found buoys to keep her afloat. Now at RY, she has the management support as well as the work challenges.

Work should be fun

George admitted that he didn’t thrive in the strict confines of academic learning. He found it pedantic, too rigid, and backwards-looking. When he left education, he naturally thought the world of work would be like that too. And his first two jobs were. It was only when he started at a creative agency and found a mentor who encouraged him to extend his half-thoughts into the absurd, that he realised work can be, and should be, fun. A place where you can be yourself. This mentor’s encouragement helped George to embrace the weird and in doing so, he found innovative approaches to problems and a new sense of self-confidence.

(Pretty much) everybody hates public speaking

Laura shared her dislike for orange Quality Streets (I’m with you Laura) and her dislike for public speaking (with you again Laura). But attending NABS’ Building Confidence and Gravitas masterclass helped her. In the session, which consisted of 10 comms professionals and one psychologist, she was shocked by the number of them who felt the same way as her. People who came across as confident also got the shakes for important meetings. Laura still doesn’t jump for joy when it comes to presentations, but she knows practice will build her skills and confidence, so she leaps in and gives them her all.

Always be curious

Amy started at RY without any relevant experience. Nervous about this, she felt unsure of herself. In her story, she thanked everyone who’s helped and believed in her. In response people pointed out that it’s more like “Thanks Amy. Thanks for being curious, positive, and rolling up your sleeves” (all things we value at RY). As well as supporting Amy’s on-the-job learning, we’re thrilled to be supporting her Associate Project Management apprenticeship.

All the stories and comments that were shared on our L&D Slack channel during Learning at Work Week, gave me comfort that we really are an honest bunch of people at RY. Not only that, but we also truly value Always Learning.

If your place of work isn’t helping you uncover new learning, then check out our vacancies. At RY, we will.

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