99% of the time we assess what's happening in our life and make our plans using common sense but occasionally it's helpful to structure our thinking.
Domainal mapping is a tool I've found useful on several occasions. It allows you to understand a range of influences (often relationships) associated with a particular role in work or life and get a sense of perspective, as well as perhaps to identify some useful actions to help you progress.
I've used it most when I've either been feeling strain from change at work or I've been at some other turning point in my life. Google "domainal mapping" and you'll find a few articles about the technique, mostly focused on using it in very worky roles, but I tend to find that when I have decisions to make I need to consider what's going on outside work as well as within it. Mapping work and non-work "domains" alongside each other gives me a useful sense of perspective: "No wonder I'm stressed, look at all the crazy stuff going on!", or, "Hang on, I'm preoccupied with finishing that report and I really have other things to worry about - things that are more fixable.".
My recent survey of blog readers, LinkedIn and Twitter contacts indicates that understanding each other and our differences is our biggest challenge to working in partnership. Now I am building on the research results to design a course that will improve your ability to bring organisations together to create impact.
After 23 years of work I am still learning about what I do well and what I enjoy, and trying to become a better learner. Dealing with the challenge of senior management at Engineers Without Borders pushed me to be real about life and work and led me to decide to give up an amazing job at CEO level, even though I’d be trying to get to that level for five years. I hope the experience has changed me – I certainly think I’m on the right path now.