Sunday, March 8, 2009

Empathy Walk RE 2/16 & 2/23

Although the empathy walk was removed from our class syllabus, I am going to report on what I was going to do for the report and how I sorta did do the project in my own evaluator ways. I was going to select my fiancĂ© yes we are close and we do connect, but in professional sense we are complete opposites. He is more direct, more stern and highly procedurally based with little notation or consideration for the individual and their thoughts and beliefs when it comes to getting the job done. Now I am not here to say he has no heart, he is compassionate and caring to his employees, but on the frontlines (he is a fire captain), there is no messing around, apathy for whatever and he is strictly business. It is hard to compare as his field of work is procedural and based completely around rules, parameters and guidelines, where education is, and it isn’t, so this was tough, but I did feel our perspectives and how we handled things was where the difference was.

I did appreciate his directness and sternness as few questioned him and when asked they thought he was tough, yet fair and commanded people to want to work for him. Although I was unable to talk with my subordinates, I would hope that their feelings were the same in commanding respect and their desire to work for me.

I have in the past observed/followed him around for another project and I found his social interactions to be limited, strictly work based and little if no social interaction. Whereas I am a social being and my work is based around relationship establishment and the inclusion of different perspectives, backgrounds and what others have to offer. I did enjoy his ethic to stick to guidelines and procedures, as with his position, lives depend on it. I can take that back to my school and come to the idea that lives, although a house is not burning, do depend on use as educators. We are one of the stepping stones to their life and where they go afterwards.

Outside and in our personal lives, I am amazed at how we can experience the same thing, hear the same thing and walk the same path, yet we walk away with at times completely different perspectives. Where I may see a bad situation, he takes from it a learning experience and vice versa. Same with conflict, he deals with conflict in terms when not having an answer just avoiding it or not attempting to find resolve to the big pink elephant in the room. I on the other hand want to talk, mediate, and work it out. I want answers where he may just let it go. Maybe it is a male/female thing, I hate to admit, but I can conclude that it is more than that. Not nature entirely, but the nurturing part. It is the part with which we are raised in, I see it in his mother. He is a spitting image of her, so out the window goes the guy/girl thing.

There is a combination that I take back to the org setting; it is that of gaining a shared understanding that everyone is different and offer different perspectives and different objectives from a setting or whatever task may be at hand. As OD consultants or leaders, we need to truly pay close attention to these differences, learn to value them and also learn to incorporate and accurate them if possible for the common good of the org. in meeting their vision/goals.

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