Fast Company

Annie Hart Strikes Again

After our morning call with Katie, Annie reached out to talk privately with me to check in and see if there was some unresolved tension from last week.  I admitted that last night I had gotten nervous about our call today because I’m starting to feel how these calls impact my week.  With so much else in life feeling all over the place (especially my own businesses), my anxiety struck late last night and I jumped in to dictate the direction of today’s call without letting Annie in on the “why”.  I usurped her role as story guide and jumped in to lead.  I was feeling like my desk was cluttered and in order to see clearly through this project, I needed to get some busy work done to free up some brain space and feel accomplished.  And that’s what we did today.  Before the call though, I was unable to be honest with Annie about the why and in this follow-up she gave me an opportunity to fill her in which strengthened our rapport. She asked permission to check in with me in the future when she sees me struggling through something and she also asked that I give her permission to lead us through such experiences.  In reality, that’s exactly what I want. I don’t want to have to lead.  In this case, I had hoped Annie would read my mind and know how hectic life was and how badly I needed a great call with the team.  But alas, as good a story guide as she is, she is not a mind reader, so we both need to work on keeping the communication open and honest so we can continue to grow as we work together and nurture this message. Bravo Annie Hart. You teach me so much!

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