Posts Tagged ‘2015’

#PMSELFIE

December 20, 2015

Oh you know what is coming, it is the season of goodwill and great cheer, and selfies and hashtags for sure are going to be part of this (#RESISTANCEISFUTILE), and that is fine of course.

In case you have been away from Earth recently a selfie is a self-portrait photograph, typically taken with a digital camera or more likely with a camera phone, held in the hand (or supported by one of those weird selfie sticks).  Such pictures are usually shared on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, or some other social networking site.

#selfie

OK, so back to the here and now. Selfies are fine of course and can be fun, with the appeal coming I guess from how easy they are to create and also to share, not forgetting the control they give self-photographers over how they present themselves – unlike when someone else makes you stand in a pose and say ‘cheese’ or worse, snaps away without you knowing and then proudly shows you the embarrassing results. Normally selfies are intended to be self-flattering or showcasing being with a certain other ‘significant’ person, and I say intended but we all know that ‘in the moment’ (especially when that moment is alcohol fuelled) can lead to some less than flattering outcomes even when you are supposed to be in control.

But why do we do it and what do we expect to get out of the activity?

Starting with the ‘why’ then Everyday Sociology argues that we now use selfies as a way of  projecting our identities onto others, ‘The more pictures you post of yourself promoting a certain identity—buff, sexy, adventurous, studious, funny, daring, lazy (smile) etc. – then the more likely it is that others will endorse this identity of you’. So the selfie can be a way of you demonstrating what sort of person you are, and getting others to agree with you.

And for the ‘what’ then researcher Dr. Owen Churches, from the school of psychology, Flinders University in Adelaide, who has studied the neuroscience of face perception for years states ‘Most of us pay more attention to faces than we do to anything else’ and goes on to say ‘We know experimentally that people respond differently to faces than they do to other object categories’.

So by focusing on the facial image and by projecting the image we want to show then we would hope to get others attention and to gain a positive response back as well as a reinforcement of the image we desire.

But at this time of year why not consider the opportunity of a project management ‘selfie’ that is less the image that we wish to believe we are and more of a chance to consider what we truly represent in the project business world right now and, as a positive result, identify just one aspect that we would aim to improve in the coming year, think of it perhaps as a New Year’s ‘PM’ resolution of improvement, something that will make us all better project managers in 12 months’ time.

So I wish you all the best at this special time of year and why not, along with all of the other festive activities, sneak in a quick #PMSELFIE

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Auld Lang Syne

December 29, 2014

Auld Lang Syne 2015

Along with millions of other people I have sung this song with other people, arms linked, smiling and momentarily happy at the stroke of midnight to welcome in the bright New Year.

And like millions of other people (I am pretty sure) I really didn’t know the words or in fact what it was all about. I mean, like everyone else when you get to the chorus it is full volume and no holding back:

‘For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne, we’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for (the sake) of auld lang syne’

You can check out one version of the full lyrics at www.robertburns.org

Now it may not completely matter that most of us don’t know either the words or the meaning, it is perhaps one of those ‘all in the moment’ things – it is how we feel and how we interact with others at that point of time and the feeling of goodwill and hope for the future etc that is the main issue, But last year I experienced something slightly different at my New Year Eve party.

The host, not even a Scot I might add, decided that it would be good if all the party folk did know the words and understood a little what it was all about. Now I am sure that you can imagine that a bunch of adults, gathered already for a few hours and fuelled by the odd bottle of drink (or two or …) might not react so well to someone deciding to lead them in a short history and literary lesson at 30 minutes to midnight. And you would be right, it was a battle for the host to get some focus and attention but this he did. He kept it short and to the point, gave us the lyrics to read if we wished, and explained the origins of the song made famous by Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1788 after he heard it sung by an old man. Even at this point in time Auld Lang Syne was apparently pretty old, it was steeped in history through oral tradition and literary reference. However, it as the Burns version that helped to make it so popular.

He summed up to meaning in three points:

  • Auld Lang Syne is about the endurance of friendships
  • It is about cherishing the past as we look also to the future,
  • And, here is the good news, it is also about sinking a few drinks as wellAs midnight came we joined hands, sang (some with the lyrics, some without) this unifying song with all our energy and enthusiasm.I think that this small addition of understanding helped the shared experience be that much better and I thank the host for this.In our projects each day, a joint passion and team spirit means an awful lot but if you can combine this with a clear and simple shared vision it makes it so much better.For the sake of Auld Lang Syne.

As midnight came we joined hands, sang (some with the lyrics, some without) this unifying song with all our energy and enthusiasm.

I think that this small addition of understanding helped the shared experience be that much better and I thank the host for this.

In our projects each day, a joint passion and team spirit means an awful lot but if you can combine this with a clear and simple shared vision it makes it so much better.

I wish you all a wonderful 2015 and thank you as ever for all of your support and passion.

For the sake of Auld Lang Syne.