At one time I worked with a person who would never let you know where he stood on an issue until the decision was made and the wisdom of the decision was either validated or shown to be in error. You could never pin him down. However, once the decision was finally made and the results were in, he rode the winning horse and energetically asserted that had been his opinion all along.
At one point a very important proposal came up in our executive meeting. I knew that if we acted on this proposal, it would either be fantastic or it would bomb. As usual, this person said a lot in the meeting, but he really didn’t commit one way or the other.
Tired of his sidestepping, I wanted to have him on record as committing one way or the other. So that night I went to his home to talk with him. He knew that I was against the proposal. So when I asked him where he stood, he said, “oh, I am totally against it.”
The next day, in front of the entire group, I said to him, “Yesterday in our meeting it wasn’t clear to me where you stood on this issue. Would you please share your views?” The chairman of the company was at this meeting, and because this man knew that the chairman wanted to accept this proposal, he postured entirely differently than he had with me the night before.
Somewhat exasperated, I said to him, “That’s not at all what you said last night to me. You said that you were totally against it.”
“Yes, well that’s what I was thinking at that point, but….”Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust
It doesn’t get any truer, does it?
Let me give you a story. I had a student who had come into my life back in June of last year. She was very open-minded and very friendly; however, during that specific course, she would say some things that would never be said in western culture. She would use ignorant gambits to try to bait me into getting angry about what she was saying. At this time, and following that, I should’ve dropped her and never taught her as a student. However, she requested me to teach her privately at the language center and she brought her girlfriend along.
All seemed well until days before Christmas when the bomb was dropped. Complaints were hurled and I was dropped as a teacher. Get this, just a day before, we spoke in the hallway as if nothing happened. It was head-scratching and laughable….and at the same time, I told myself: “if I ever have an overly friendly student, drop them.” Unless it’s on my personal website, I want to save the ignorance.
See, some people are two total opposites. I can careless about the situation, but I’m very scared about the individuals who have done that because if they’re planning on living overseas and do that, this can be a catastrophic problem. Yes, we do the same thing in America culture, but how they did it was completely unacceptable.
Guys, be straight. I shouldn’t have been teaching lazy, ignorant students past their due date. Yes, I stuck my neck out for them and tried my hardest to push them to getting a high score — only to get thrown under the bus. They surely should’ve had some problems dating back months, so why not drop me then? Why didn’t I communicate my ideas across before?