I miss my sparring sessions. And, how badly!
I picked this terminology and concept from a Twitter Influencer I follow. Though I learnt this very recently but I could recollect having done this in the past without terming it to what he does. Have taken the liberty to contextualise it to my liking. Unlike him, I didn't do it in a structured way and was way informal. I derived more value from the conversations than the outcome of those conversations. Meaning I didn't get into those sessions to get a desired outcome.
Let me share my version of these terminologies. Heavily influenced yet nuanced for my needs.
What I mean by Sparring session? - A conversation with my Sparring partners on varied topics to attain clarity, diverse views, get challenged and learn.
Who are my Sparring partners? - From my circle of friends, colleagues, mentors, guides who had diversity of thoughts, were good listeners, inspiring, positive, could raise the quality of conversation and mostly with whom I could feel safe to share my thoughts and vulnerabilities.
Why I enjoyed my Sparring sessions? - It energised me. I always went back more knowledgeable or with better clarity than I had before I entered into that conversation. My Sparring partners would question, critique my thought process without being judgmental.
I used to have this very frequently before the pandemic at work! This used to help me a lot outside of work!
One of the main negatives of this remote work I feel is the opportunity to sit in person with your sparring partner and have this genuine, desired sparring session. To get challenged and pushed to evaluate my own thought process. Brought outside in view.
I would suggest you to find your Sparring partner. Look for the below traits:
They are well read or well informed.
Open to diverse views and ability to change their mind.
Good analytical thinking and reasoning.