The Art of Communication
As one of my favorite Phish lyrics states, “I see the path ahead of me and in a minute I’ll be free”.
I am now free and living the so-called American Dream. It has been two months since I joined OFP full time and it is amazing. I work for myself, make my own hours and have no one telling me what to do.
I have worked very hard my entire career and have been focused on getting to this place. I’ve developed clinical programs, managed a variety of professionals, and am confident in my work surrounding disaster survivors. Heather and I have worked together for several years and have our flow down.
For those of you have worked for me or with me you know it isn’t easy. I am stubborn, have my own vision, move too fast and think my way is right most of the time. Let’s get real…all the time. Over my professional career, my way of communicating has been direct and demanding, with the expectation that no one will ever achieve it (not even myself). But this is what it takes to get the job done, right?
It was about four weeks into my new role at OFP that my fantasy of what this was going to be like became reality. I was in an office setting that is different then any place I have ever worked. There was no dramatic crisis to solve, I had no clue what I was supposed to be doing, and Heather continued to flood my email asking me too many clarifying questions. What the heck was going on?
It wasn’t until a random Wednesday afternoon when I instituted my old work style and told Heather directly that her emails were out of control and she was asking too many questions. I could see the annoyance on her face as she started to defend herself, and to be honest, after a few minutes I stopped listening. I was just communicating. I didn’t need an entire conversation about it. Didn’t she understand that about me?
After a few of these types of conversation I started to see that I had met my match. I realized this was not solely my vision and dream. There was someone else beside me that was involved. Why it took me this long to fully realize that I was sharing this with someone is beyond me.
So my first lesson of a start-up is to learn the art of fully hearing, listening and communicating. I am not sure I am as prepared for this adventure as I once thought. But what I do know, is with two headstrong ladies running the show, is can’t not be successful.
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