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. During this unique on-boarding process
Hello everyone! I’m Flora from the New York office. I recently passed in my fourth round of PLB, and am excited to share my experiences with you.
When I first learned of the PLB program at Next Jump, I reflected on my past failures. I talked to my family and friends to understand how I could improve as an individual. One thing that everyone seemed to tell me was: “you’re really bad at saying no”. This was something I was already aware of, but “saying no” only seemed to scratch the surface of why I am a poor communicator. My backhand is that I avoid being direct to run away from conflict and judgment.
The roots for my fear of conflict and judgment originate from insecurities with my childhood friendships and family dynamics. Because I always feel like I am never good enough, I would rather please others than be honest about my struggle.
One moment I vividly recall where my backhand took over was during our annual Halloween party. While I was MC-ing the event, I realized that we forgot to organize the voting for the Halloween costume winner. I later talked to Emma, the event captain, about how we should impromptu set up the voting. However, Emma and I had different opinions on how voting could be carried out. I was worried of overstepping my place and causing any conflict, so I didn’t push harder to express my opinion. On the other hand, she was very ill – too sick to even have the conversation! We got stuck in limbo with our discussion on this pressing matter. In the end, Roshen took over the mic and announced to everyone how to vote for the costume winner. My worry over what others think of me led to poor communication, and inhibited my ability to resolve conflicts.
I hit a few walls during the past few months, and this was only one of many instances when external situations suffered as a result of my backhand. During our peak week in Q4, I was stuck on a technical problem. I didn’t raise the issue with my managers because I was worried they would think I was incompetent. I stayed late in the office by myself, unable to fix anything. This continued for another night and delayed the release of the page. My backhand in action ultimately affected our pod targets.
I have learned a lot from these mistakes and failures along the way. My PLB journey has not only improved my productivity in the office, but I am beginning to feel the transformation of my self-awareness in my personal life. Recently, a close friend of mine asked to stay at my place indefinitely while she job searches in the city. I was worried an indefinite shared living space would affect my sleep and normal routine. However, I realized that if I was not direct about my concerns, our friendship could be jeopardized if I turned her down last minute with a bad excuse. After drafting the text for one hour, I sent it to her and explained my situation. My friend’s response turned out to be extremely understanding, and she told me she appreciated my honesty.
I am learning not to fear conflict and judgment, but instead see them as opportunities for growth. One big takeaway for me is to learn to balance assertiveness and compassion. Being direct does not mean that I am always right, so I should be compassionate even when I am honest. I am still on the road to striking a balance between directness, productivity, and compassion. However, I know that even if I struggle with my backhand, I have the resources and rituals to help me because of PLB.