I was quoted in a recent article on AnnArbor.com, as saying: “Don’t simply assume that the loudest voices in the room are necessarily any brighter, more experienced, or better suited for the task at hand than you are.”
Megan Torrance, coach, and Penguins ice hockey team
The article was written as part of the Power of One series, to celebrate the achievements — and the ripple effects — of the work done by Ann Arbor lawyer Jean King, leading up to a dinner in her honor on March 26. Looking back at the article as a whole, in which I discussed the intersections of sports, teaching, and business in my life. I am a wife, parent, athlete, coach, and business owner, and in all of those roles, I teach! (well, maybe not so much in the “wife” role…)
What’s more, I learn as much as I teach in each of my life roles. So, let’s get back to that quote. It applies as much in the conference room as it does in the classroom. It applies as much at a networking event as on the ice.
More often than not, the person – or player – who raises her or his hand first does not have the right answer. And that’s ok because now the conversation has gotten started. So, someone has got to go first or we go nowhere. What I’ve found is that the second, third, fourth, and fifth people to answer learn on the fly from those going first and come up with more rich answers. And what about the person who doesn’t come up with an answer until after the conversation (or ice time) is over? That answer has the benefit of time and white space, and has a chance of being the insight we all needed to put things together.
Are any of these people “smarter” or “better” than the other? Nope. Is it better to be faster or slower? Louder or softer? I think not. They’re all useful in different ways for different situations… as long as we make space for that and understand it.
Props to Jenn Cornell PR, the Girls Play Hockey “Penguins”, the whole TorranceLearning team, and Tara Rethore at M. Beacon Enterprises for the bits and pieces — and space — behind this set of thoughts!