Feb 15, 2010

They Didn't Notice? They Must Be Flawed ......

So here I am in project team meetings trying my best to sound professional and informed. I felt like I was clearly not. Other than a bachelor's degree in communication I had no real training for my job at a major pharmaceutical. No background in database implementations or project management.

It as fun and really not that hard after all, but I was always afraid that some one would figure out that I was just some guy and not a real professional. When I would make a comment in a meeting, I would expect some sort of .... something from the others to indicate that what I said was worth while. I don't know, they all gasp, or blush with excitement. I'm not realy sure.

Well, that nearly never happens in project meetings. Typically there is no clear indication that what you say is really great so after the meeting I would be convinced that I had sounded like an idiot. What made it worse is that it would dawn on me that no one in the room noticed that I was an idiot. After all, if they had they would have said something.

"Adam, I notice that you are clearly untrained and not suitable for the job you're in, how did you happen to be here."

That never happened. So then I would start to wonder if they were flawed in some way, because they didn't notice how stupid I was. That would make me feel superior to them, and a bizare mental spiral would begin.

I discovered that I had to decided the merits of my own ideas for myself and weigh them against others comments and new information. I quit expecting some great outpouring of adoration if I had a useful idea. Typically, no one says anything, but the idea ends up somehow moving into the project. If it's a team project that's just how it works.

If I have years of experience or am recognized as the Subject Matter Expert in an area, I'm just another person on the team and usually won't get any special notice.

Also, I realized that most of the people I worked with were at least a little odd, and if I didn't do anything terribly unexpected then my comments wouldn't stand out as particularly weird no matter what I said.

I crave validation, but the world around me doesn't give it much. Real validation comes from God in the Bible. When I look more intently there I don't feel as flawed nor do as see others as flawed.

At least I'm moving in that direction.


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