not the center

For a long while – perhaps most of my professional career thus far – I have entered conversations as the self-assumed center of attention. Forget professional, this has transcended most places. Like personal and social interactions. In classes, etc. I have entered and just assumed like it was my duty or responsibility to be the one driving things _forward_ (whatever forward meant).

This got worse at work. Because, well, I was the CEO. I thought it was my job to like carry the conversation. I got uncomfortable when I was not the one driving. And so I like carried things. I filled in things. I did not let people fail. Even for a second. If things got awkward, I would fill the void. The space. The breaths. I would not let them drop.

But this was all a battle in my head. Like a made-up screenplay. Telling myself that I needed to do anything.

I am now in an environment where other people are playing the lead. I am not assumed to be the lead nor the center.

And I see them operating and I find myself getting uncomfortable. Like I can feel myself wanting to correct others. I feel myself wanting to fix things. Things that are not necessarily broken but just something feels wrong with them. I want to so badly. It feels nearly compulsive. Like I said – like I need to adjust something. People are not speaking right. Not precisely. They are wasting time. They are going about things a different way. A worse way. A slower way. An inefficient way.

The old me would hero ball. Would dive to fix.

The new me. Well, the current me. The current me is just waiting. I am learning. Sometimes they meander to a good solution. Most of the time they are just fumbling. But I let them fumble. I let them drone on and on. Because that’s what they want. Or at least for now. Who cares if I don’t talk. I don’t. I’m learning. I’m gathering information.

It’s a totally new role.

One I am learning. Slowly.


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