Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Word of Advice

Hardly no surprise, but worth repeating, I love writing. Both workwise as well as just for the sake of keeping sane I suppose. A part of breathing, living and loving words is of course also to be very interested in how others use them. Or as it happens, too often, misuse them.

My view, on most things, is that if a job, a commitment, is worth doing it's also worth doing well. Oh I most certainly stumble and fall my fair share of the commitment times too, once in a while. But I've also learnt that if I know, more or less deep inside, that I don't have the time, or the real inclination, to do that job in the way that it's suppose, worth, to be done I should say no from the beginning. I simply shouldn't commit to it.

If I commit to an assignment I owe both to myself as well as others to do it well. It doesn't have to be perfect - that can be a relative thing - I might be a beginner, just learning. But I should at least do the best I can under the circumstances and my particular knowledge at the time. I should be aware of my flaws and the possible lacking in certain skills and therefore make darn sure I get help or use the tools that will help me implement the task in a more than decent way.

As a professional as well as a human being I've got my personal strengths as well as weaknesses, and for everyone's sake I should make the most of my best features and work on the far from good ones. Or for that matter, leave them to others that do have my lacking skills.

Instead of showing a bit of insightfullness many people have the tendency to use their flaws, their possible limitations in certain areas as *convenient* excuses for their shortcomings. This gets even more obvious when you're working in a group and get dependent on the others performing the way they're suppose to. If everyone actually do perform and takes on the task they can do and do well, then all is fine and dandy of course. But when they don't, especially when they make a big deal of having certain disabilities and still insists on taking a certain role in the group, refusing to use the aid tools available, hence making the whole group look less than good...

Ah, I do like being and having sounding boards, and collaborations where everyone is responsible for their own particular speciality, but in general I so do not like group projects. Because if the specific group isn't meticulously put together there's most always some freerider, someone who's the self appointed boss but far from good at it -

I generally distrust people who actively aim at being the one in charge, they're rarely good at it. My experience is that the best managers are most always the ones whose far from very interested in becoming one, but often shows those certain, sort of impalpable features that make them so very good at it when they happen to kind of stumble in to the role -

someone who might live under the illusion of being very skillfull, but by most comparison isn't, someone who is actually very skillful but on the shy side of things and not always very good at expressing him/herself. And so forth.

I'm not very patient when it comes to these types of situations. Less so over the years. I know most of my strengths and weaknesses, I know which ones I can improve on and which I can't - that being because of either pure laziness, uninterest or really a total lack of talent. Period. I have no need of flaunting my talents or strengths in general, I'm safe and aware of them, and so are most of the people that matters to me.

Well, admittedly if I get really annoyed by some boastful pleb trying to appear like an expert in a field they very obviously don't know very much about, whereas I do, I now and then like to have a zingy saying in the matter at hand. Or of course, when it comes to job applications or in certain competitive situations. But not just for the sake of it. For the sake of showing off. A nice degree of non-false, secure, modesty is always very appealing in a person I think. I so like that quality in others, I like to think I strive for that myself.

Back to the actual thing that got me going in the first place, this time around. Group project. Presentation. Who's writing it. Who shouldn't. Or at least shouldn't when they blatantly refuse to use the aid tools available. And instead rally their own disability, still somewhat insisting on being the one who's compiling the work. The presentation, the achievement which reflects us all, as a group. All the ideas and discussions summed up in what should be a good, great if possible, and distinct presentation.

I managed to get a bit of saying, and writing - horay! - in in the end, when I also did a bit of proof-reading - spell checker anyone? - but I'm still far from satisfied with it. The person in question - a basically nice one with lots of ideas, views, knowledge and capabilities - instead of making the most of all those devices that can help her to make a better job, she continued snickering about her dyslexia.

And it's far from the first time I get a more than sneaking suspicion that some dyslectics - diagnosed or not - us that disability as an excuse instead of an incentive. The excuse being I know I have this disability, so I don't perform as well as others, but I insist on doing this anyway. My way. Which would be fine if one also made good use of all those aiding tools, spell checkers, advice and proof-read from others. In this day and age we have not only the human resources but also all these amazing gadgets and widgets that can help most of us perform better in a whole lot of different areas. With or without certain disabilities.

Presentation is (at least) half of the work, if it's not correctly written or easily interpreted, it makes such an unprofessional, sloppy and in worst case, uninteresting impression. Which is bad enough if it's solitary work, even more so if it's a group project.

If there'll be a next time, I must make a writing stand earlier, which is sort of tricky since I suppose it can be something of a case of stepping on someones delicate figurative toes. Wording will have to lead the way.


Anonymous said...

Group projects are challenging for the reasons you stated. However, I do have dyslexia, and I do not tell everyone about it, and my spelling is quite good. I worked at it. Maybe there are other issues with the group dyslexic? Spell check is quite limiting because you can end up with a correct spelling but the wrong word.

Pia K said...

You might be quite right with this person having other issues and using this particular disability as an excuse, in this case. But when it reflects on a whole group like this it is, um,...annoying. To say the least.

Ah, yes, the inbuilt spell check can be rather frustrating - or fun for that matter:) - like you mentioned, but then you can most always depend on a irl human proof read resource.

My aim in writing this wasn't to generalize dyslectics, as most "groups" it isn't homogeneous, but consisting of individuals. Though personally I do get the impression I stated ever so often, unfortunately.

Great to hear that you've been able to work a lot on you dyslexia! Thumbs up:)

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