Courageous conversations

Two quotes from the week that resonate with me are:

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored,” Aldous Huxley

“Mishandled conversations create the very outcomes we dread” Patrick Bassett

Uncomfortable but essential conversations are now part of my job, and I’ve had them with colleagues, direct reports, students and families. I’ve learned to step up to these, and to trust that they lead to greater understanding and clear expectations, though I will likely never luxuriate in them. I do try to be thoughtful about these, and anyone who knows me at all knows that I like to have some time to gather my thoughts, take some notes, and think about possible approaches and desired outcomes.

Listening to Betsy Myers today, I realized that I’ve been avoiding some of these difficult conversations with myself. Even as a reflective introvert, I find it daunting to talk with myself about some of the tough stuff: I can tell you what scares me, what gives me pause, and what I would do if I had all the time in the world, but the really big stuff….yikes. For example, Is my reluctance to be in the public eye greater than my desire to effect positive change at my school site? As I think and talk about my school this week, I realize anew what a special place it is, how much I care about student experience there, and how honored I am to be an advocate for and a promoter of the academic program there. Having direct conversations with myself, even using the courageous conversation tools here, can only lead to more awareness and clarity in my life.

I chose long ago not to live a “life of complaint” (to use Betsy Myers’s phrase), but realize that I must make a deliberate choice about where to put my energy in order to live a life of  greater worth.