So, this student hasn’t been back to my class since I wrote the post. That was the last time I saw her. It’s normally her pattern to come and go, but this is the longest I’ve gone without seeing her since she first started.
I’ll keep you updated. And when we get her back, I will follow up with all of you who reached out and offered to help her get into a good pair of shoes and some new workout clothes. Your kindness is much appreciated. We’ll get her everything she needs, you and me. I just need her to come back.
It’s Friday and I
don’t post with any kind of regularity anymore normally don’t post on Friday. I’m still snuggled in bed and it’s dark and I’m listening to the weather change outside. The temperature is going to drop this weekend and will likely not see anymore 80 degree days and I swear I can hear the outdoors preparing. It’s always in the air. It’s like I can hear the summer breeze begin to turn into winter wind, giving the subtle announcement that fall is finally going to settle in, even here in the south.
It’s been a grueling couple of weeks, blogosphere.
Many many years ago, before the appearance of The Things, I was working for The Man and (like now) was quite the workaholic. I loved my job. It was one giant busy season, with a million deadlines to meet and a ton of fires to put out. It was a perfect job for me at 25. And it’s a place where I learned a lesson during a performance review that I carry with me still. My boss and I were discussing a hire we made that ended up being a bad match, and during her exit she spouted off to my boss the things she didn’t like about working with me. He told me what she said, and then he asked for my reaction. I launched into A Monologue! Point! By! Point! DEFENDING myself against what she said! How DARE she NOT! UNDERSTAND! MY! POINT! OF! VIEW!
And when I finally came up for air, my boss said “Are you done?” and I said YES! And he said “my point in telling you this wasn’t about what this woman said in a huffy exit. I know the difference between constructive criticism and sour grapes. I think overall you do a really good job. My point in telling you this was to show you that you’re defensive. It’s hard to give you constructive criticism because you want to have an answer for it all. I need you to work on that.”
He was so right. I want to JUSTIFY! And EXPLAIN! And PROVE! That I’m NOT AS BAD AS YOU THINK! I have CIRCUMSTANCES! Justifiable CIRCUMSTANCES that EXPLAIN WHY I’M THIS WAY!!!
Annoying Exhausting, right?
Anyway, I’m not saying that I’ve been able to totally change what’s kind of a knee-jerk reaction to feedback, but the awareness not only of the trait, but of what that does to people around me was really a gift. And now I’m usually able to take a breath and let the words sink in before I formulate a response. Or at least I’m able to try.
It’s a lesson that has impacted my professional life, yes, but also my personal relationships. Sometimes the hardest words to say are I was wrong. Or, you’re right. Or, I’m sorry. Even when we know these things on the inside, it can be the hardest thing in the world to get the words out.
So, I try to be a person that can get the words out.
Anyway, I’ve had this story on my mind a lot the last couple of weeks. It’s challenging to ask your customers for feedback, because you want it all to be great. And really, sometimes
I you expect it all to be great. So when it isn’t, it’s hard. And it’s also challenging to hear from the people closest to you that you’re doing something they don’t like. Because all I you want to do is be the best (insert title here – friend/love/spouse/whatever) you can be to them. So it hurts. And is embarrassing.
But more important to me than being a person who always gets it right is being a person that’s always willing to try. And I know I’m one of those people. That’s got to count for something, because there are a lot of people in the world who don’t try. Who expect you to do all of the trying or adapting or improving so they don’t have to.
And those people drive me batshit crazy.
That one-word description – defensive – is something I work to improve all the time. What’s your one word?