Be Curious and See What Happens…

I recently went to meet one of my son’s teachers.  He was not doing well in this particular class… which was unusual for him. I scheduled a face-to-face meeting and went in ready for battle.  My head had been filled with all of his stories about how she “hated” him and how bad her teaching was and how she humiliated him in front of the entire class, etc., etc… Well, I saw her as the enemy before I even met her!

So you can imagine my expectation of the discussion was going to be difficult and unpleasant… I could feel my heart pounding as I took a seat in the classroom.   As we reviewed the status of my son’s progress (or lack thereof) and I gave my feedback on what I had been told, her whole demeaner changed.  She had no idea that my son felt she “hated” him.  She was very sad to hear he felt “humiliated” when she corrected him in class.  She had expected me to come in and demand her to change his grade.   She thought that I was one of those “helicopter” parents who hovered and flew down whenever he would stumble.  My expectation was that together we could come up with a plan to help him turn his grade around.  As we talked through some ideas, her whole body relaxed and she smiled.  She said how much she appreciated me coming in to work through this as it turned out to be very different than what she thought would happen.  I was very humbled and enlightened to learn how different our expectations could be for the same meeting!

When we approach a potentially difficult discussion with openness and curiosity, we can feel the shift in the other party to open up and create solutions instead of a battle plan… what a much nicer way to live…