Even we introverts should go with our gut!

When it comes to communicating, I understand. There is such value to slowing down, thinking, adjusting the words we use and carefully delivering our message. We introverts are quite used to behaving this way. But it needn’t be the ONLY way we respond.

Sometimes our impact is enhanced when we go with our gut.

When I was  teaching high school, there was a time I was president of my local teacher’s association. Although I don’t remember the details, the teachers’ contract negotiation team and I were secluded with the board’s negotiation team at a time when the board president had just finished slamming the teaching staff for lack of professionalism.

The hairs on the back of my neck pinged outward at the same time that my mind went on high alert. A typically calm, rational person, in that moment I scooted back my chair, stood and slammed both hands on the table as I braced myself to glare into the president’s face, almost nose to nose. Had I known Donald Trump at the time, I would have felt like him.

 

For a moment I said nothing – quickly calculating responsible language. Then I responded with a quick remark about shifting from finger pointing to productive behavior.

My vice president and the others on my negotiation team stared at me, silenced by my immediate behavior, then turned to the superintendent who stood to apologize while promising improved behavior for the rest of the evening.

My quick behavior, followed by strong, firm communication was unexpected. This is why it worked. I knew I could go with my gut to make an impact on those who were typically “over-the-top”. Not expecting it from me, they would stop to think. I just needed to go with my gut AND my head for this to work.

When we behave outside our typical patterns, we make a difference. It needen’t change us. It only needs to be a teaching moment for those we are with.

Can going with your gut help you speak with confidence? Yes, it can.

 

 

 

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One Response to Even we introverts should go with our gut!
  1. Wow – great story Merri! I would have loved to have seen that! We need more people like you standing up to people who bash teachers!

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