July 27, 2011
Things I’ve Learned And Share
“Number Three: Watching and Listening, But Has Little To Say.”
I can recall one day I sat quietly observing my coworkers to see who would be called on if “the sky began falling.” I figured by watching and not speaking, during this process, I would indeed learn something about who they were, as well as myself, if and when called upon.
“Number Three” did the same thing. She listened to the dialogue and observed the actions as she both sorted and absorbed the information that floated in the excitement of the room.
When I asked ‘Are there any questions before we continue?’ her series of questions were almost strategic and calculated as if she had a point and purpose to insure that she (1) received the intended message and (2) had properly implemented the information. Then she hit me with the mature “let me get this straight…so, you are saying if I…and when I do this….and this is what happens when…?” line of questions. Almost causing me to validate what I know to her. Although, I had few expectations when I first walked in the room filled with five young teenage ladies, because my own expectations would have led to great disappointment, I had to let them lead me in the direction that they wish to go and allow me to keep up.
I learned that as an adult, actively listening to teenagers requires more patience, less interruptions and more understanding than any other conversation that we may find ourselves engaged in. Some of them have a host of ideas mixed with questions and statements all rolled into one, therefore we may not at first grasp what their intended message or purpose for expressing themselves is, until we lose patience and begin talking while they are talking. And as we all know, that’s when things fall apart. Even adults don’t listen when we should. Even when we feel entitled to have the first or last word.
So, I learned by watching “Number Three” in action. Going through the motions that she possess and the leadership qualities that will take her far in life, if she maintains the path and dedication to detail that she has. And who knows, maybe she will teach us all a few things or two.
Next: “Number Four: Silent Pro. Seeing What She Says.”
k/d/morris – http://www.kdmorrisphotography.com