You nod a silent yes, as panic rises,
Yes I understand the words,
But implications bubble underneath,
Muddied by the unclear words,
Made even stranger by your head,
Writing in the harsher parts,
That were not even said.
When I was running around have a world class meltdown on Friday, I stopped to look for some comfort from one teacher and what she said was really helpful. As with most good advice, it was so bloody obvious – it just doesn’t always seem that obvious when the wheels are coming off.
My problems started this week after a meeting where I didn’t really understand what was being said. I understood what needed to be improved, but I didn’t think about what would happen if they didn’t feel I had made progress. I didn’t even know what would actually be classed as progress.
The teacher said to me that I should not leave the room until I have had these things spelled out to me. I think I have always worried about coming across as stupid, but surely feeling comfortable is far more important than coming across as super bright.
Next time I’m pulled into any kind of performance meeting, I will make sure to know what we are aiming for and what the next steps are. We offer these basics up to the kids so why would we not expect the same for ourselves?
3 thoughts on “make sure you understand before you nod”
You’re so right, Rachel, about the need to thoroughly understand what is said and what is agreed on before you leave any meeting, whether it’s a work meeting or something else. Otherwise, you can make wrong assumptions, and that never leads anywhere good. At all. I’ve found it a lot more successful to ask questions and even reflect back what people tell me (e.g. ‘So what you’re saying is that I’ll need to X, Y and Z, do I have that right?’)
That is word for word what the teacher told me I should do. I tell the kids to repeat back to me for understanding so it shouldn’t be all that groundbreaking. And yet it was!
Doesn’t seem stupid at all, to clarify what people’s idea of “success” actually is.