Saturday, September 23, 2006

Allowable weakness are very annoying

Back when I was a civil servant I was assessed on the Belbin model of management, and I came out quite strongly as a 'plant', with associated Shaper and Resource/Investigator traits. What I was - by quite a long way - rather bad at was the 'Completer/Finisher' type. In other words, I'm not good at detail. If I concentrate on the detail, that's fine, but most details don't seem to have an obvious link to the larger picture - hence they get overlooked. (In so far as the plant has real gifts, they are constituted by being able to see the wood rather than individual trees). We all have differing strengths and weaknesses, the key - as was emphasised in my training - is that we delegate to cover our weaknesses, rather than wasting energy trying to control all of the outcomes ourselves, often with hugely destructive consequences. Hence Belbin has a vocabulary of 'allowable weaknesses' - and the allowable weaknesses of a plant are inattention to detail (so it all fits together).

Anyhow, an example today - rather funny once I saw that side of it - of how I sometimes get tripped up on detail.

Parish Quiet Day - led by my colleague - excellent use of time and resources - very enjoyable. But I have to leave half way through because I have agreed to take an anniversary service for one of the Mersea organisations that I'm officially involved with. This is annoying, because the Quiet Day is doing me all sorts of good, and chiming with much that I have been reflecting on recently (important quote from my colleague: "Christian holiness is not a matter of moralism but of mysticism." Now that is wonderfully accurate and pithy (and reassuring in terms of how it shows how far my colleague and I are in tune :)

Anyhow, after an hours drive to return to Mersea - and then a half hour wait on the other side of the Strood because the tide is up again (groan) - I get home and check the details for the service I am taking this afternoon.

And I discover that I have been booked for two thousand and SEVEN.


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