Friday 11 November 2011

Testing and coming out of Comfort Zones

This week has been quite a testing week for me and the team at Autism Works. Using the word ‘testing’ seems quite appropriate working for a software testing firm! When I say testing I don’t necessarily mean that it has been a difficult week, but rather a learning curve in that I am learning new processes within my capacity as Operational Manager. In one sense though, when new duties are beginning to find their way into my role, it gives me a feeling of how my job is developing, as the company grows.
Despite the extensive mindfulness practice that I have undertaken over the last two years including meditation practice and basic yoga, it still sometimes takes me quite some effort to come out of my comfort zone in working environments and I have in particular noticed my tendency to ‘shy away’ from numbers! This tendency perhaps partly relates to me not being used to working with numbers as much as I am with letters and words as well as being hopeless at maths when I was at school, contrary to the stereotype that people with Asperger’s Syndrome are good at maths!

This week, I have been learning how to do Cost of Sales spreadsheets to calculate the profitability of the work we have been carrying out. From my previous blog entries, you may remember me talking about how developments in history rarely occur in isolation. Such processes are also visible in the development of an enterprise, especially if the enterprise is one that is breaking relatively new ground like Autism Works. Acquiring our first contracts from clients has seen us adapting to different ways of working in line with the clients’ requirements as well as bringing me new tasks, for which I have to learn new processes and, in some cases, unlearn old habits. The combination of learning and un-learning helps one revisit task and duties that may not have been undertaken in a while, from where skills so often get lost.
As well as shying away from numbers, I have also noticed that I have a tendency to procrastinate over software packages that I am not familiar with, largely because I don’t use them as much as others particularly Microsoft Excel. I am confident though that the more I use it regularly, I will become more accustomed to it. As the cost of sales spreadsheet that I am working on is our first, so it is a process where we will very likely have to learn from mistakes to get it right for our business.
Elsewhere, since my last blog entry, I have been in situations where I am largely within my comfort zone, giving training on Asperger’s Syndrome to staff at ESPA, which ironically involves interactive activities where staff are encouraged to come out of their comfort zone to experience  what it may be like to have Asperger’s Syndrome, which is often quite fun! In the meantime, stay tuned to New Aspie Horizons for the latest developments in the world of Autism Works.
Autism Works staff would like to take this opportunity to pay our respects for Remeberance Sunday this coming weekend. 

No comments:

Post a Comment