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Friday, November 1, 2019


I'm not particularly good at communication, but I've had some recent successes.  In a potentially difficult conversation about a merit raise, I told my Chair at the very beginning that I saw her as an ally in the process. Once I said that then the conversation was a great one.  How could it not be, with that beginning move on my part? We were on the same team, after all. It didn't hurt that she is a good communicator, better than I am. I probably didn't even need to worry about it.

There was some tension in my graduate course among some of the students. I met with one student, listened carefully, and then offered suggestions to her. In the next class I gave a little speech about how to best talk to one another, with some concrete suggestions.  Then I asked the class for their own ideas. I followed up later with a few of the students. The tension has dissipated now.  I felt I dealt with the situation skillfully rather than let it go on too long and get worse. None of my professors in Grad School would have even cared if students hated each other. It would have been beneath them to even notice it. Sometimes they would even openly pit one group against the other, or play favorites.

I am valuing this emotional intelligence in myself more and more.  I say this with the greatest degree of humility, because I have never considered this to be a strong area for me. In part because I was unable to be compassionate to myself, it was more difficult to be the best I could be to other people.

My choir director says: "listen louder than you sing."  That's a pretty good way of saying it.

1 comment:

Leslie B. said...

Yes. Although this seeing as an ally has not worked for me. The response is: "How dare you? You have NO STANDING to deserve me as an ally!" But I will think about it, perhaps being differently explicit will have some effect.