User story:

Ana Fernandes
Chemical Engineer - CCBA
My story is evidence that EQ is something that can be developed in people and is a lifelong learning journey. I have learned that every experience is a ‘learning and forming’ experience.
Beyond Metrics / User Stories / Ana Fernandes

We spent some time with Ana hearing her growth story and the impact that Mygrow has had on her life. The following is what she had to say, shared with her permission.

I am a chemical engineer at CCBA with experience in manufacturing and logistics: supply chain. In 2019 I made quite a radical move into the HR space. I found there was a lot of talk about Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and soft skills but no one quite knew how to develop them. We could recognise the need but didn’t have a sustainable, outcomes-based solution. Our Organization has a talent development forum that looks at succession planning and so this was particularly relevant to our space. We found that the technical gaps were very easy to fill but the EQ gaps, which were behavioral and attitude related, much harder to develop in people.

This led me to start researching and I found that there were two main perspectives on this EQ development: Mygrow – people either loved or hated it. I decided to investigate this for myself and embarked on a personal journey of EQ development so that I could assess whether it was what we needed for our people.

My first interaction with Mygrow explained that EQ is like a muscle that needs to be developed and continually worked on. Much like how you would work on your fitness at the gym. It requires discipline and commitment. For me, this quickly explained why some people don’t like this kind of development. Most of us are impatient and want instant gratification but there is no quick fix to growing your EQ. Mygrow is a very different approach to the type of training that doesn’t require any effort or practice.

My journey on Mygrow has been deeply impactful. In particular the Self Perception and Self Regard modules required me to be vulnerable and this was a little uncomfortable at first. I worked through the discomfort and decided to embrace the journey for myself. I have used Mygrow as a way to get to know myself better.

My experience is that Mygrow helps you to look in the mirror and accept yourself as you are, with your qualities and your flaws. Being a human is not a competition, and as you accept yourself you become less judgemental of yourself and then of others too.
From a work perspective Mygrow gives you the opportunity to develop problem solving and decision making skills. These have been very valuable tools and contribute positively to the way that I lead my team and make strategic calls.

“On a more personal level, I have been able to share what I have learnt on Mygrow with my twin daughters who are 16 years old. They have both recognised the growth in me and this has been very encouraging.”

The ABCDE technique has made a big difference in my parenting. It equips you with the ability to pause, not react in the moment and then actually dispute your irrational thoughts, feelings and natural first responses. Sometimes I am more harsh with my girls than I would like to be and then as I have reflected and disputed the situation, I have needed to go back and apologise to them for my reaction. Sometimes, jokingly my girls will encourage me to do my Mygrow droplets because they can see the significant positive impact that it has had on our relationship.

I wish that I had done Mygow earlier in life. It’s not that I would necessarily have made any different decisions but rather that I would have had a different perspective and made the journey easier. Mygrow affects you in every space in your life. Your work life, your family and friends. This is because you begin to see things differently.

I believe that EVERYONE needs this program. Every single module has taught me something that I have needed and grown in. Assertiveness is one of these key skills that has stood out. I have learnt to have difficult conversations without all of the emotion that previously clouded my judgment. I have grown in courage in this area. Self-Expression and Interpersonal Relationships are also two key areas where I have seen shifts in myself. I now have the ability to stop and dispute my irrational beliefs and not just live from one reaction to the next. I am not able to live and respond more conscientiously.

I started Mygrow looking for something for the country team and its potential successors, but my findings were so much deeper and wider than I anticipated. I now believe that it isn’t just the leadership that needs to do Mygrow but rather EVERYONE needs this. Our managers and those leading other people especially because of the direct impact we have on our teams. Leaders are seldom equipped with the necessary skills to fulfill their roles and Mygrow does an incredible job of giving you what you need to grow into the kind of leader people actually want to follow.

My story is evidence that EQ is something that can be developed in people and is a lifelong learning journey. I have learned that every experience is a ‘learning and forming’ experience. For example, how you grow up impacts you and conditions your EQ. You can however be ‘reformed’ by using techniques over time, learning to recognise triggers and overcoming the way that you naturally see things. Mygrow gives you the tools to CHOOSE how you want to respond but this is also hard work and requires a conscious decision to develop and grow. It is a journey that requires commitment.


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