13 June 2007

Voicing out or keeping quiet?

We were at a teachers' session today. It was another of those too-busy-to-organise sessions disguised as a seek-your-views session. This time round, it was a training session on teambuilding activities for us to conduct with our students.

The organiser was obviously not organised. He was dithering from one position to another, and asking us what we think, and whether we have better suggestions as to how this event can move forward. When it seemed like almost completed, one of them asked what happened if the students did not want to join in? Some other "doubters" chipped in and the whole thing wavered without a conclusive outcome.

Then my colleague spoke up. He was obviously pissed off by the indecisiveness of the organiser and some harsh words were said. To my shock, the organiser, defended himself and reverted back to his original position. This made my colleague even more worked up and the volume was raised with temperatures rising.

In times like this, what should our position be? Speak up to voice your frustration? Keep quiet and follow their final decision? Most of us present today were 'peace-makers' not wanting to make the situation ugly. Perhaps maybe this ability to take 'nonsense' comes with age. My students would have switched off straight away.

Speaking up adds an air of tension in the atmosphere, especially if angry tones are used. Could we perhaps speak up but in a manner that is constructive and respectful? This is tough as we have to rein in our angst and let out a suggested way in a controlled manner.

No wonder meekness is not weakness but significant strength - no many can do it gracefully. Especially when we are hot under the collar.

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