On Thursday our team accepted the faculty’s challenge and successfully piled even more people on and off of the teeter totter, in even less time, without breaking the eggs. Afterwards Dave congratulated us on an epic world record-setting accomplishment. I was so happy and proud of our teamwork! But last night, as I reflected on my contributions during the activity, I remembered doing something I wasn’t proud of.
On Tuesday, my teammate Collin had observed that wearing flip flops while inching backwards on the teeter totter was a potential source of error. So yesterday at the beginning of our record-setting performance, when I noticed Laura was wearing flip flops, I turned to her and told her she should take them off. I sensed her hesitation, which I quickly shot down by saying, “we noticed on Tuesday that someone in flip flops almost tripped.” Feeling the pressure from our team to succeed, she tossed her sandals to the side.
Did I get what I wanted? Yes. But I could see Laura was hesitant, and I should have acknowledged her feelings and engaged her in shared decision-making. I wish I had said, “something to consider: on Tuesday someone wearing flip flops almost tripped while inching backwards. On the other hand, if you take them off you might get a splinter or a stubbed toe. What do you think?”
This morning Laura accepted my apology 🙂