It’s amazing how my viewing of this phrase has changed.
For some reason, when I began my career, I saw a comment like this, coming from a supervisor, as a reason to worry.
I wondered, “What had I done wrong?” or “What is going to happen to me?” And yet, I didn’t even know what the conversation was about.
This is a case of me operating under a deficit model. I’m not sure why that would happen, as I’ve always understood the value of a growth view towards learning and life, but for some reason, those three words made me automatically assume the worst.
What’s funny is that through all the times when that question was asked of me, rarely was the conversation a negative one, or one with potentially negative connotations.
Rather, they were often requests for feedback, observations of practice, and/or simply unrelated questions that had nothing to do with me.
So, as I’ve matured in age, development, and experience, I’ve come to see this question as an opportunity to learn more, rather than a scenario where I’ll come away with less. The chance to grow from a conversation is much more valuable to me now, as I understand that any piece of feedback is potentially a game-changer for how I lead and learn.
These days I welcome “Can we chat?” as a chance to rebalance my thinking and make sure that I’m kept in the loop and made aware of all the key pieces I need to learn, lead, and live well.
And in the rare circumstance where I have, in fact, done something wrong? So much the better, as that conversation helps me to grow and keep getting better.