Now that the WaveMakers course is complete, I’ve been reflecting on how to tie it all together. I want to make sure I get the most out of my learnings and that the themes I worked on each week build upon one another. Here’s my consolidation of the WaveMakers program:
Week one, we delved into our personalities, strengths, values, and hidden motivations that direct our choices. In week two, we looked at the less known facets of our personalities, such as insecurities and self-doubt. Which self-limiting beliefs do I carry? Is my inner-voice encouraging or critical? We incorporated the insights from week one, using our values and strengths to help us reframe any unfavourable voices and self-limiting beliefs discovered in week two.
Week three focused on mindfulness. After honing the tools to understand ourselves and recontextualize any self-inflicted hostility or constraints, we can focus on our direction. What do I hope to accomplish? How do I define success? Our path should be defined by our goals and the key areas in life we want to feel fulfilled. These goals stem from our underlying values defined in week 1. During the week, I identified and rated the areas in my life where I want to feel fulfilled. I also identified my energy sources and drains that impact me reaching my goals. I became aware of any self-imposed barriers that limit my belief in achieving my goals and confronted them.
The program starts with internal focus, as personal growth begins within, before shifting to an external focus. We need to understand ourselves, our experiences, and how they shape our decisions before we can enhance our relationships with the world and others.
The first week of the external focus was about unconscious bias. It’s an essential link between internal and external work. We should be aware of our own biases and how they influence our actions, as well as recognizing biases in others. We also learnt how to effectively and calmly deal with microaggressions.
The next week was about communication. Leaders must create psychologically safe environments where communication is honest, frequent, and transparent. This allows us to confront biases respectfully, so that everyone can grow and become aware of how our beliefs affect others. Communication also involves giving feedback, reading non-verbal cues, and considering power dynamics.
The focus then shifted to image and exposure. It’s important to be mindful of how we are perceived by others and how we present ourselves. We should be aware of how our performance is judged versus our image and exposure. We were given tools for this, like self-review, feedback, and reflection.
The final exercise of WaveMakers was a reflection ending with a “stop, start, continue” list. To become the leader I want to be, I should:
- Stop allowing my inner-critic to limit my success
- Start challenging biases in myself and others to create more diverse and inclusive environments
- Continue using the tools I learned in the WaveMakers program to foster mindfulness, self-awareness, and authenticity.