From the desk of Teresa Jordan, Executive Director – I went to an Annual General Meeting recently for a partner agency. Just like all of us when planning and executing these kinds of meetings, there were hiccups – not enough financial statements, no one clearly taking attendance of membership, and an unclear start time for the meeting. I was not bothered by any of these hiccups because I have yet to execute a perfect AGM and I know that there are a lot of moving pieces.
Behind me, however, there was a group of people that was bothered. Reading through the material, they pointed out everything they disagreed with; looking at the agenda, I heard them say, “Wrong order, wrong motion, just wrong and wrong.” It seems that nothing can fire up a small group like negativity.
I thought about the two very different reactions that we were having to the same situation. For a lot of reasons I was completely content, and almost relieved, to know that everyone struggles with these big meetings … but right behind me there was a negative, almost angry vibe happening. Even though the reaction of the group had absolutely nothing to do with me and was no reflection of my work, their negativity brought me down. It washed over me and made me upset for no real reason.
This experience reminded me about a great concept called “emotional wake.” In our work with people facing big challenges, it is important that our wake does not wash over a person and make their challenges bigger but that it instead fills the space with something lighter and brighter – something like hope and understanding. A little understanding and support from the group behind me would have lifted the whole room. Cake could have helped, too. 🙂
For all that you do – and for all of the positive vibes that you sprinkle around – I thank you.