Trusting Others & Showing My True Self: Shruti’s PLB Journey

At Next Jump, every new hire goes through PLB – or “Personal Leadership Bootcamp.” PLB is a safe environment for new employees to identify their “backhand” – the thing that holds us back from reaching our full potential – and develop practice grounds to tackle it. Shruti challenged herself over these past few months to build trust with others and grow closer to friends and family.

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Shruti transforming into Queen of Hearts in our Annual Dance competition

Hi everyone. People told me that PLB would be a tough journey and that would will learn a lot about yourself…  after being here for 4 and a ½ months I can completely agree.

My backhand is that I don’t want to talk about my weaknesses and struggles because growing up I dealt with a lot of racism and judgement on my background especially from close friends on how my parents got me to where I was. Initially I was just really angry because it felt like my friends were insulting my parents and then I realised I was just hurt by those I trusted. At the time I knew my parents were also going through a tough time. By not wanting to burden them, I learnt to deal with it alone, becoming someone tough and strong.

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Shruti with fellow Next Jumpers Naqash, Rosey and Jack

I realised that my backhand was the reason my sister and I had become distant. I had pushed her away, because she saw me as a perfect person who had life all figured out, and she struggled to come ask me for help. It pained me to think that my own sister found me unapproachable and I couldn’t be the big sister I wanted to be. At work, I was working alone and saying I was ‘fine’ so as not to address when I was overwhelmed or struggling, meaning I was not showing my true self to them. It also made it harder to build trust with my TP Naqash and I couldn’t see any value in our work relationship.

From working in Customer Experience and then moving to Site Management, as well as Flagship (determining our future office space), and being hands (just below leaders on the core team) on Academy and Super Saturdays, I have tried to push myself out my comfort zone and practise being vulnerable. The turning point for me was when I was having a tough time keeping up with Site Management and having some difficult times at home. I felt lost and confused because I didn’t know how I was going to cope with all the uncertainty. I was scared to admit this to myself, but by practising vulnerability and sharing all the thoughts and narratives with my sister, it helped bring us closer. But I also took that learning and opened up with Naqash and my team and realised that no-one was judging me, they didn’t pity me but were just there to help and listen. It allowed me to be honest with the people in my world and even with people that I was scared to even speak to when joining.

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Practising vulnerability and decision making with Naqash in Flagship was eventful… just from painting a wall in the office yellow and getting more feedback then I could have imagined, I learnt how to analyse feedback. But that experience also scared me from making bold decisions, and Naqash and I did get caught in a feedback loop, asking for too many opinions and not knowing what to do and whose opinion to go with. Sharing that with the team has helped us make those decisions and know when we are falling into our backhands.

From having tough conversations with my parents and a stronger relationship with my sister, PLB has taught me to have the courage to be honest with my feelings and helped bring out my true self. I know that the challenges will only get larger but I am excited to see how I can attack this differently thank before.

I can’t thank my coach Kitty, my TP Naqash, and the whole Next Jump team enough for your patience, coaching, support and inspiration to push myself and I will take those learnings forward with me.

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