I knew it was going to be tough. I had four major problems and several small ones tagging along. I had no idea where to start. I had a view, but nobody seemed to understand what it was. I did not understand. I had given them a draft. I had shared my thoughts. What I had in my head was in their hand.
Two things unraveled the puzzle.
First, I went back to examine my emails and notes to see if I could see how they heard what I was trying to say. Initially I was dumbfounded. My emails were simple and to the point. The first yellow flag appeared when I opened my draft. It was a draft, only it was not mine, it was another that had come in at a similar time. As I raced back and forth between the emails, it became clear. Not one person in my group had seen what I had spent hours preparing.
Second, as I started fresh, the pick-up with the senior staff in the office was immediate. “Our analysis should provide the answers Bill is looking for.”
“How could they know? What had I done or said that had given them the insight?”
“Let’s work on the analysis more this afternoon before we share it.”
Since I had a full calendar it was easy to let go of the issue. I still wondered what I would get. Around five, I walked into the office. “Show me what you have.”
The white board held a clear, logical, roadmap. As they talked me through their approach, I could see that they had captured everything I had not said and more! It was a big step in the right direction. Who knew?
We thrashed through how to take it to a more refined state. My confidence in their analysis grew with each idea. They were focused and on target. It was a model I had been searching for but could not quite see or find. My darkness had been pointless. They understood what I had forgotten. Together they knew.