Connecting and Volcanos – My Two AHA! Moments This Week

Another great week with a class of incredibly talented AV geeks getting their CTS credentials. This was another unique class because it was for a manufacturer, so the depth of knowledge in projection and image quality was unparalleled.  I learned a lot from this team of professionals. Along the way I learned some things I didn’t expect to learn.

In a couple of late night conversations with a very high executive in the company I was training, I was asked some very pointed questions and statements.  These conversations ended up hitting me in the core of who I am and what I am doing.  In this few days’ worth of time, I ended up learning more about myself than years of therapy.  The highlight of what I learned has to do with Connecting and the Volcano.

Connecting – One of our late night conversations was more of a question and answer session.  The executive I was talking with wanted to learn more about me and the company he was working with.  So he asked me a lot of questions. The question that hit me the hardest and made me realize I was on the right track with grAVITation TECHnologies was when he asked “what is it that you are trying to do, are you trying to make these people understand and learn the CTS topics and pass the test or are you trying to help them learn more about the industry and best practices?”  I thought for a second and answered. “Neither. I am trying to connect with them.”  As those words came out of my mouth I realized why I do what I do.  Yes, I love to learn and I love to share my knowledge.  Yes, I love to teach and see people improve. But, above those things, I love to connect with people.  My satisfaction comes from people coming up to me years after a class and telling me how I changed their life or their approach to something and how something I said stuck with them.  I love the idea that when I spend time with people in any environment (classroom, office or on the road) that I get to connect and we SHARE information and grow TOGETHER.  By answering that seemingly simple question, I learned (or reminded myself) more than I had realized in a long while.

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The Volcano – As our discussions went on, the executive I was talking to referred to me as a Volcano.  I took this as a compliment because I see volcanos as powerful.  I also liked this statement because the result of volcanos erupting can be beautiful; tropical islands and luscious and fruitful lands.  It wasn’t until I got home and pondered what he was trying to tell me.  I now think that I learned a small bit of what he was trying to say (and I am sure there is much more to this).  I ended up contemplating on this a lot more and even doing some research.  I realized that this new friend was telling me that I have a balance of many talents and traits (like the volcano has all the elements: earth, wind, fire, water and air).  The challenge someone like me faces is that I can be forceful and dominant in letting go of these elements at times.  The result is not the island paradise I was hoping, but a wasteland and destruction.  The beautiful paradise takes a long time of rebuilding.  However, If I hold back and allow the forces to remain in balance and only release in small doses when the time is right and only when I need to show appropriate passion about key things, then people will get from me what they need and I will get what I need – connections.  If we continue to consider the actual volcano as the metaphor here, there are many beautiful cities that exist near active (although dormant) volcanos.  I believe this is because the inhabitants gain much more than they perceive the risk to be.  I learned that I may have the force of a volcano I must learn to control that force and remain dormant (and control the eruptions) so that I can provide a luscious and fruitful area around me. Otherwise, the volcano can destroy the environment.

Who knows?  I could be completely off on what my new friend was trying to relay to me, but the good thing is, it doesn’t really matter.  I took what I could from it and learned something and hopefully I will grow a little more because of the week I spent contemplating connections and volcanos.