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What crocheting skills have got to do with your work and why the first outcome is rarely perfect?

About the author

Agnieszka Jarecka | HR Operations Director
Agnieszka Jarecka joined Aon 2 years ago as a Global HR Shared Services Director. Throughout her career she held several expert and managerial positions in accounting, audit, consulting, sales support, and human resources. She spends most of her free time on travelling and hiking across the world with her husband and 2 sons.

Each year, during Empower Results Day for Communities, our Aon colleagues take part in various kinds of activities to support organizations in the society they live in. On 28.06., we, for instance, planted trees, cleaned up Bulwary Wiślane, visited animal shelters or spent time with kids from CA1. Our colleague – Agnieszka Jarecka took part in another initiative – crocheting little octopuses for preemies. Those small, crochet toys are children’s friends in incubators. They can play with tentacles instead of pulling out life-saving tubes or cables, which can be really detrimental for their healthy growth.

Read Agnieszka’s insightful story about crocheting below.

Crocheting is something I had tried as a child and then I had forgotten the skill for about 30 years. Therefore, when Ola approached me and asked what I thought about the initiative of crocheting little octopuses to support preemies as a part of Empower Results Day for Communities in Aon Krakow, I responded: “Why not?” – with a dose of reservation. However, since the goal was noble, I took the challenge as did the other 40 colleagues in Krakow.

During our first crocheting class, I felt really great – I recalled how to crochet in a few minutes, so I could create quickly a magic circle, a chain or even a double crochet. But then, I got the first feedback: “You are doing great, but this is too loose for a preemie.” I tried my best and started crocheting more tightly, but apparently it still seemed to be too loose…

I decided to continue at home with clear instructions on paper. I was crocheting for 2 hours and I felt real pain in my palms. Additionally, there was a new trick I could use to reduce the number of rings in a circle, which I had never done before. So I did it my way and, apparently, it was not the desired one. I realized it only after another hour of crocheting when the stich turned out to be uneven and far from the original. I had to consult Ola again. I tried harder, watched two instruction movies on YouTube, but still had to unstitch half of my work twice before the outcome was of the acceptable quality…

I realized I acted as a typical fresher – I was full of enthusiasm, but I didn’t know what I didn’t know, so I learnt my lesson:

Do not assume you know the standards or the outcome without the clear and prompt feedback. Even if you have got experience with similar activities, always seek for feedback and a broader context. You will save a lot of time by investigating and learning the basics and understanding key assumptions.

Crocheting is definitely not my story. I am impatient and would like to see immediate results, with the “first time should work” approach. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work with crocheting, or with most of the activities you do for the first time or after a long period of time. I have fallen into an unconscious incompetence trap…again.

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