It’s always the same old story
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“It wasn’t me.”
“I didn’t do it.”
“I don’t know what happened.”
Typically reserved as excuses to Mom, but if you have ever been a manager or a director, you have probably heard these words, as well. It’s easy to pass the buck on responsibility, play the ever-popular blame game, and not really give a crap whether or not an order is fulfilled, a job is finished, or a deadline has been met. Or the living room is picked up, the dishes are done, or the dogs have been walked. Life and its responsibilities are just that, responsibilities and sadly, few are comfortable with taking it on and making it happen, whatever “it” may be.
Crime and Punishment
I hate punishment. I have never grounded my kids – wait, I did try it once, but it failed as a learning tool or a behavioral modification effort. I can remember seeing a young mother smack her three-year old for hitting another child while exclaiming, “We don’t hit!” Nice lesson.
<I do confess that I grounded my teen-aged son for poor grades and bad behavior. It worked, sort of. 15-year old boys used to freedom do NOT like when it is taken away.>
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Learning to communicate effectively is a constant lesson. Why? Because how we communicate is constantly evolving. With my kids, how they listen changes as they age and mature. Not always for the better, but we try to find success. Within a work environment, the methods we use to communicate change – more red tape, less red tape, changed titles, altered positions, new tools, fewer tools, and walls, proverbial, metaphorical, or otherwise.
Keeping Walls Down
One thing I have learned over the years is to keep the walls down by not allowing them to get taller. There can be a tendency to let the heart get in the way of the head, especially in business. If you are passionate about your work, if it is closely attached to your identity, then it is easy to miss what your head or the head of others is saying about your work or what you truly contribute. Valuable lessons, growth and change only happen when you stretch or feel some discomfort.
As soon as I feel like I know what I’m doing, then I know I am no longer learning or growing.
So…, All Hail feeling uncomfortable. All Hail feeling like I am lost and that I could not possibly catch up. All Hail feeling like at any moment, it will be discovered that I don’t know what the heck I am doing.
My expertise lies in not being an expert. I can live with that.
by Rayanne Thorn