I’ve been exchanging some texts today with a colleague that has become friend as well. Her daughter worked with my company, under my direction for a short period after college. All of us in the office found her to be genuinely sweet, along with highly organized, skilled in developing tools and an all-around rockstar at the role she filled for us temporarily.
Yet she was also painfully shy and quiet. Very young and somewhat naive, ‘Andy’ has the work ethic and potential to achieve great things, but performs in a manner that demands a willingness to pull her out of her shell a little.
The first text included a picture of Andy in her wedding dress, yet with an almost sour look on her face. Most brides to be would be radiance personified when they find ‘the one’ (the one dress, that is). But not Andy, she has a semi-smile in the picture her Mom took. But in the picture where she’s facing strangers, you can see her face in the mirror and it’s on the verge of panic.
Strangers! She was trying on dresses in a shop full of strangers and no doubt, they were trying to pay sweet attention to her. She looked stunningly beautiful, but knowing her I could see the discomfort on her face.
After a few exchanges, I learned that Andy has been working on a focus group project at her first big girl job for months. Her work is so good (this wasn’t said, but I know it’s true) that her peers are encouraging her to present the groups’ findings. And this part is not paraphrased or implied or assumed, it is a direct quote: ‘she is stroking out’.
I can hardly imagine a better example of finding ‘The View From Here”. I responded with something along the lines of her organization and communication skills should overcome that. She’s bright as a 1,000 watt bulb!
It made me recall the day that she challenged me on a formula in a spreadsheet. I’ve not been in this particular industry long, but I’m at least 20 years older and have been in the working world for a very long time. Yet, she felt I was wrong and calmly and clearly presented her case on why she thought so.
She was correct. She made me see the formula from a different perspective. I truly wish there was a way to change hers when it comes to the chance to shine. There is no doubt she would shine brightly, so brightly those co-workers of hers will need sunglasses!