Sunday, January 11, 2009

I didn’t ask

I went to a faculty development workshop today and was asked what questions I had or wanted answered. I really couldn’t think of anything that I wanted answered. Odd for a couple of reasons, I usually have lots of questions and that’s what I usually do, I ask the questions. Upon reflection, my mind was blocked, I thought, “I know all this stuff” and I wasn’t prepared to ask about something I thought I knew, even though deep down I know I have much to learn.

I reminded myself why I was attending the session; to connect, to learn about connecting, to meet others and connect with faculty development people, see what they were doing to give new instructors resources to be more successful and a better understanding of teaching. I didn’t think my reasons for being there were related to the content of what they were sharing. I struggled and wrote down, “How can I connect better with students?” but didn’t hand it in. Likely because I thought I connect pretty well with students and didn’t need to learn more about it so it wasn’t really something I wanted answered. I figured I knew the answer, it wouldn’t have been authentic for me to ask and I couldn’t think of anything else. Tells me something right there!

Sure I connected with others, made some inroads with the faculty development people and got a better understanding of what they offered. Still, the day fell flat because I wasn’t open to learn and I didn’t ask the question I’m most passionate about, how can we connect more deeply with others. The lessons are reminders for me (ego), myself and I:

1. My Tae Kwon Do Master said that you only start understanding Tae Kwon Do when you get your Black Belt. Similarly, when you think you know something, you likely have just begun to understand and uncover its truth so continue to study and explore, train and listen.

2. If you find yourself in a situation that you usually put others in (i.e. asking the questions), pay attention to how you feel, what you’re thinking and how you react. Walk for awhile in those shoes because they have the potential to create new patterns.

3. Intention can be pure, but actions deliver the outcome. Connect your actions and intentions by consciously preparing upfront for your desired outcome.

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Carolyn Mead said...

Hi Karen,

I found your topic interesting because I always considered assumptions and the act of assuming is about others or situations "outside" ourselves. Here, you hit upon the fact that sometimes we do assume things about ourselves, and how do those assumptions play out? Great eye opener and a neat way to flush out your understanding of this. Thanks for sharing about it.


MacDiva said...

VERY Cool, Karen.... I agree completely!