Wednesday, November 12, 2008

When Your Vision Is Too Expansive

I have difficulty compartmentalizing information.

This is often a blessing. I am easily able to take a broad view of systems and also transfer information from one system to another. At classes and workshop, I find myself impatient when other attendees have to stop and ask, "What does this have to do with...[fill in the blank with whatever the topic is]?" (Yes, I found college almost painful.) If the teacher or leader of the class or workshop has made the connection, you can be certain that I too have made the connection. When other people are saying things like, "This is nice, but I was really hoping to get some tangible ideas I can take home," I often am sighing inside. My neurons have usually been firing off ideas the whole time as I've connected all types of information in response to what I am learning.

At times, though, my inability to compartmentalize becomes problematic. Today I found that a global perspective I have been taking for granted for some time is not a common world view. I didn't realize until after I pissed someone off (at work, no less) by taking my broad view as a given. Actually, it took me getting upset that I'd pissed someone off. I got upset and called a colleague who listened to me explain my thinking to her, and then she said "I have never thought of it like that before." The subsequent dialogue in my head went something like:


Oh! Huh.

Really? I could have sworn that other colleagues have talked about this before.

Is it just me?

I don't get how this can be compartmentalized.

I am so confused. I am so hurt [that the person I pissed off was so offended].

Sometimes it is hard not to feel crazy.

Postscript: A few days later, I am feeling much better. I called another colleague, one from the west coast whose response to the idea that I think much differently than others was, "you do?!" Ah, it is likely another one of those east-west coast adjustments I am making. So then I talked to a colleague out here who is one of the longest-serving and most respected in our field. And though she has worked for 30 years in the northeast, she also is very involved in the national organization of our association and has a good understanding of regional differences. She is a tremendous mentor for me! I wanted her to help me shift my thinking, if necessary, into a more regionally-appropriate form. But she told me I was spot-on in my thinking, and that more than anything I just have to be patient (and try harder not to scare people so much with my wild west ways LOL).

1 comment:

sf said...

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