This is a time for Change11, to tell a story.
What is my story? I wasn’t as lucky as Joe, but I know that I could make up one fairy tale story, rather than a real one. However, I have been offered voluntary redundancy once, so I understand how it feels, to lose one’s job.
Here is The situation: Wonderland-in Blogoland
One Monday evening the following conversation took place over a virtual chat room:
Paul: I don’t feel that I’m really a competent educator. Sometimes I…
Educator: (Interrupted) You don’t feel competent? What do you mean?
Paul: As I was going to say, sometimes I feel intimidated by my friend and…
Educator: You feel intimated? What’s it? Why didn’t you try this way?.. bla bla bla… I couldn’t believe it! You fail if you are intimidated by other people. You will not be respected in future. Bla bla bla…
Paul: I am trying to explain this to you – (Paul RAISED his VOICE) it’s because my hands and feet are tied…
Educator: Your hands and feet are tied? I don’t understand! You mean you can’t control your emotions? May be you are not tough enough in controlling yourself when you are feeling anxious? Aren’t you?
Paul: I don’t think so. Last week, my friend agreed to work with me on a project that needed to be completed on-time, the project X with a Client. He left work early when I specifically instructed him to finish an important task he was doing before he went home. The task wasn’t completed, and I was left accountable for the mess he had created…
Educator: (Interrupted…) You felt angry, betrayed, and would obviously have reprimanded him. I’m sure that you would like to scream to express your anger.
Paul: No, actually, I felt disappointed in myself; I was hurt and embarrassed. I shouldn’t have left it like that…
Educator: But aren’t you really angry and just afraid of expressing it?
Paul: I said I wasn’t, and I don’t appreciate being analyzed when I come to you with..
Educator: Are you feeling uncomfortable with my judgment? I am an educator, do trust me….
Paul: I really don’t want to discuss this any more. You just don’t listen to me!
Educator: Oh! then…
Do this sound familiar to you? The educator was puzzled a bit on the responses from Paul and tried to figure out the reasons.
If you were the educator, what were the reasons of such poor communication in the chat room?
How would you respond instead?
The above was a case that I designed and responded to it myself more than 15 years ago. Is that authentic learning?
Take it as a funny story. I could share my analysis and response in later posts, if that is your wish. But you could make up your story to continue with this conversation, with an improved version, thus helping the educator to improve his communication skills.
How about your story?