I received my Spring eval from Special Olympics and got into an argument with KF today. Although they are two different conversations and are based on different contexts, they both tell me that I need to start listening more.
In SpO’s Spring eval, under the question “What should you start doing?” is the feedback that I can try to be more perceptive to hearing other people’s ideas; “part of being a great team means considering what everyone has to say and coming to a decision together.” I immediately thought about the times that I worked with J and K. I always blamed late meetings, but I realized that I was just in bad mood all the time and always thought that all these website stuff can be done individually and wouldn’t care about tiny stuff. Later in the afternoon, I got frustrated because of KF’s opinion on our trip to Niagra Falls. He said that those activities in the falls are boring and that he had visited all the places that we were planning to visit, which made me assume that he didn’t want to do anything and he just didn’t care about it at all. In fact, he was not worried much about where to go, he just had more preferences and he prioritized spending time with me more than the places to visit.
Clearly, I have a streak of making people uncomfortable when bouncing ideas around, because I probably rely on my logic way too much and I fail to actually listen. I am very hard-headed too… And by listen, I don’t mean hear – more like really pay attention to the sounds and empathize with others. Maybe if I take the time to listen to people’s points without jumping to any conclusions or making any assumptions, I could understand where they come from and why they propose their ideas. So even if there’s something off about the ideas, I can put out some warnings but still try it out with them instead of relying on my solution alone.
Like for SpO, I should be more excited about planning tiny details with J and K when we meet on Wednesday nights. They are not too important, but if not everyone has had much experience with web design, starting small can help us all be on the same page. Then at the end, before we disperse, we can suggest some other big-picture things to work on later. There was no rush and it’s cute to consider different ideas anyway! Or in my conversation with KF, I totally could take a more compromised stance, where we visit places around the falls that both KF and I have never been to together. I mean for me it’s easy because I haven’t tried any of the activities there yet, but for KF we just have to do a bit more research and be more selective. And maybe we don’t even need a crazy ton of planning; we just need to have stuff backlogged to pick from when we get there so we can wing it (safely). I admit that I am a huge planner, but if I really listen and try to freestyle just a bit, we could have fun too!
I am glad that I could write this down today and gave some thoughts on this matter. I promise to myself that starting from tomorrow, I will be more attentive to what people say. I will think about their ideas and comments seriously and stop making self-projections so that I can be more perceptive!