I have trouble explaining what is going on in my head sometimes, and frankly, I can really frustrate people with my verbal picture painting on the way to a cohesive thought. I love the process of blabbing, editing out loud, erasing the white board, getting loud, being passionate, and then realizing I am mixing a color that simply doesn’t fit the theme of the discussion.
I am fine with this process but others, especially the more linear thinkers, don’t always get it. I derail their process and simply get too many things going at once. I would like to say it is simple for me to track it all but, as I have said, I sometimes have trouble explaining what seems so obvious to me. I am gracious for those who get me, who appreciate the distracted genius of how God designed me. I am thankful for their patient waiting and their assurance that in the end an important part of the picture will be painted.
I am sure that you know someone like me. If you do, embrace them because when we get there, we are there.
However, if you are like me, you can really be generous to those who don’t get you by not mixing the paint all over them while they wait for you to get something on the canvas. I try (not always so successfully) to keep it all in, let it perk, write notes, and still try to listen to the end of what others are saying. It isn’t easy, but I have found the picture is often more well accepted when I haven’t created a bunch of seeming chaos that needs to be undone.
The chaos created when I plow ahead leaving one color abandoned or paint over a picture that I just proposed can prevent the more linear thinker from valuing my conclusion. They need me to clean up a few of the messes, get some of the excess paint off them and the walls, and grab a new canvas that will only reflect the finished thought.
Rebecca, an employee from long ago, put it this way, “Do you know why people don’t like you? We all get that you are smart but you never give us time to catch up. You get so impatient and it makes us feel dumb.”
Thank God for bold young people who just tell you the way it is without caring that you are the boss. The truth is that it still took me years to really get this about me. I continued to overwhelm, confuse, and drive people nuts. They just walked out of meetings covered in paint wondering what just happened.
These days I have accepted that there is great value in who I am. I leverage my craziness to help us get where we need to get but try to keep a few revisions hidden until I am close to the answer. I also am very transparent about my difficulty to get what seems great inside outside. This honesty combined with sensitivity to other’s processes has built some great working friendships that have created some incredible successes.