Week 30: Thanks Mark Fenske, For One Thing Anyway.

July 25, 2010 at 7:16 (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

In grad school, my Creative Concepting professor said that there’s no such thing as listening; only waiting for your turn to speak. As much as I hope I’m not this much of an asshole, we all know I’m probably one of the worst offenders. I am so defensive I’ll listen to just a few words before jumping in and swiping. I’ve got a lot to work on.

This week, work officially got busy and a little stressful. I caught myself jumping from assignment to assignment. There was barely enough time between sending one Word doc. and opening a new one to receive criticism from 5 creative directors, 7 clients and almost twice as many account people. It’s a lot to take when you’re new at a place, and I’m partciularly sensitive as I’ve just come off a few years you all might agree were “difficult”. I’m working on it, though. I recognize it and I’ve thought about it, and I’ve decided that — short of starting a chain smoking habit to handle the stress — I need to just slow down. I need to respect my colleagues, listen to what they’re saying, not take it so personally, try what they suggest, see how it ends up; _then_  gather my thoughts and push back with rationale on why I think I may have something better. I just need to not be so damned defensive. It’s so rude and disrespectful, not to mention toxic to a department. Not to mention hard on friendships.

I don’t want to cause people stress when life’s hard enough. I think if I listen more and fight less, when I have something to say, I might be listened to, too.

So thanks Mr. Fenske, advertising professor, for leaving me with one lingering grad school memory I don’t want to forget.


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