Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Differing Perspectives

I love different perspectives; I like to hear other people's thoughts.  As one of my leadership quotes posted on my office wall states: "It's good to hear others differing opinions because it makes you consider things you hadn't thought of."

And this very thing happened the other night.

I met with a dear friend of mine for dinner.  I will call her Kat.  Kat just lost her mother and I wanted to get her out of the house and also wanted to catch up and try to be there for her if I could somehow.  She was her Mother's caretaker for several years, and even stopped playing pool since May 2008 to take care of her. 

After we talked about her Mom and caught up on things, I asked Kat if she had heard of the recent passing of one of our fellow female pool players.  Kat said yes.  Kat then shared a very cute and fun story about the woman and we both smiled in her honor!

I then confessed I was having some major guilt.  I shared with Kat that a few months ago I wrote about this woman in my blog, who sadly was a very bad captain (in my eyes).  I went on to tell the story how about 15 years ago she was my captain and her actions of being two-faced with her words of encouragement and openly second guessing her teammates' decisions was very traumatic for me. 

After I shared my discomfort and sorrow for now writing about a women who had recently passed away of cancer, she reminded me I did not reveal her name and that indeed otherwise I did think she was a genuinely nice woman that touched a lot of people.  And she was right; I did feel that way about her.

Kat made me feel better and I'm glad I opened up to her.

Kat then expressed that I shouldn't have let that bother me to begin with, tho.  She told me on many, many occasions that she (Kat) questioned a lot of shot selections from the sidelines.  It meant nothing other than pure curiosity and wonderment.  She asked me, "haven't you ever done that?" 

I replied yes, but I didn't do it as captain and surely not in front of teammates who need to be uplifted, not questioned.

I also recalled how a friend of mine who had read my other blog entry shared with me she could completely relate to how I felt. She had a similar team experience years ago that still bothers her to this day: a teammate questioned her shots while she was playing in her matches and also afterwards.  She would even tell her teammates they were "wrong" in their selections.  She added, "I for one don't go all the way to Vegas to be miserable on the team I am playing on."  Even though this friend has A LOT more self esteem than I ever had back in 1997, she still was affected.

Yet, although others could relate and understood, I also saw Kat's viewpoint clearly.

We went on to talk about many other things in our lives and we were telling stories all night long.  At one point, I shared with her something that happened to me as child.  She looked me dead in the eye and sincerely stated, "now that should have been something that was traumatic to you," pointing out in a sly way that a captain questioning shots should not bother me so much as the story I just told her.

Differing perspectives.  I love them!