Whatever, and no matter how much, I have learned…I know for sure that I have forgotten an awful lot of it. Most of it in fact. Often this forgetfulness is somewhere between inevitable and necessary. For example, any time I have been involved in communicating major information – good or not so good – within an organisation, I have made sure I fully understand local laws, processes and even politics. I have known the detail of my particular organisation and the individuals involved….but I have needed to understand other related aspects.
Once the news has been communicated and implemented…I have little need to try to remember that additional information (necessary)…which is good news because there is no way I could remember it in detail without working very hard (inevitable).
Other information I have learned – and do remember. I assume this is what I would call my knowledge. Information I believe to be true. And often this will be information or situation that I have experienced several times. What I believe.
One example…is that whenever a situation doesn’t make sense (based on what I know) then I know I am missing – or misunderstanding- something. In any particular situation, if I believe we should move forward in a certain direction – and others have a different opinion – then I must be missing something. A piece of information, fact or experience that if I knew or understood would change my thinking.
So when a situation, course of action, or sequence of events does not make sense to me…I try to find out what I am missing. What don’t I understand? I work to stay open. It may be possible that my interpretation is still applicable, but it is more likely that we can – or will – agree a much better way forward once we all know more.
Times of pressure – for me, my team or for any of our respective organisations – is a classic situation where we experience more things not making sense.
Times of pressure…times when we feel under increased stress…is often a time when we revert to type…revert to our preferred style of operating. If we are naturally more ‘command and control’, then that is what people will see. If we are intuitively consensus driven then consensus it will be!
When we are under pressure we feel we have less time to consider our options in any situation; we tend to react more quickly and more intuitively. It is inevitable that more things won’t make sense to me or to us individually or collectively.
Times of pressure and stress are normal. They can be personal, private, or professional. They can happen when everyone else around us is experiencing the same…or they can just be us alone. They may be normal, but they are seldom enjoyable.
Such times benefit from us helping ourselves and us helping each other as best we can. We are there for each other. We all have a passion for our work, our teams and our projects and our colleagues. We are committed. We want to make a difference…to enjoy and to be valued.
But things we see, hear, do or say won’t always make sense…to me, to us, to our friends and our families, our allies and mentors. And these are the individuals who I know can and do help me at these times. They see me; know me and they are willing and able to hold that mirror up to me. They care and want to help me.
People always help me understand situations, events and messages that initially don’t make sense. I listen and learn. I ask and appreciate. I stay open.