This past weekend was spent in a Professional Development workshop. Fun times. Actually, it was highly beneficial and I walked away with lots to think about and some practical tips to begin implementing immediately.
As is the case with most of these PD opportunities, sometimes the best things happen during break times. Yes the cookies were good (although the coffee was disappointing.. instant.. blech) but I’m talking about the seemingly random conversations that occur around the snack table. Quite often an off-the-cuff comment is the most prominent thing we walk away with. That happened to me.
I was speaking with a teacher from another school and he was explaining the ins-and-outs of his job. It sounded to me like a lot of conflict resolution, liaisoning and hard conversations. “Wow, that sounds really intense,” I remarked, while deciding that it would be a coffee-free day.
“Actually,” he said, “I love it. For me it’s really exciting to have a problem and figure out a way to work it out. I love the challenge of conflict and it’s really interesting to figure out how to fix problems and come to common agreements and understandings.”
Wow. I had never thought of that before. I usually try to avoid conflict at all costs. I’d rather suck it up and grin and bear it than have to have a hard conversation. To be able to change my approach to it would be mind bending, life altering even. Ha! But seriously, if I can work myself to a place where I see conflict as a good thing and as a healthy thing and become excited about the chance to work on a problem, talk it out, see it through and come up with the best solution, well I’ll be able to alleviate a lot of my job stress. It’s a new approach and I like it.
So that was neat.
I also learned a lot of other valuable stuff but I do so appreciate the wisdom that I gain from chit-chats.