We Don’t Know What Anyone is Thinking

Posted on Thursday, April 21, 2011 in Courage, Creative Teambuilding

faceFrom “Imperfection”

I am falling in love
with my imperfections
The way I never get the sink really clean,
forget to check my oil,
lose my car in parking lots,
miss appointments I have written down,
am just a little late.

I am learning to love
the small bumps on my face
the big bump of my nose,
my hairless scalp,
chipped nail polish,
toes that overlap.
Learning to love
the open-ended mystery
of not knowing why

–Elizabeth Carlson

We don’t know what anyone is thinking unless they tell us.

I can guess, but I don’t really know. This was impressed upon me again the other day when I led a teambuilding session on trust in the workplace for 30 employees from a division of a state agency in New Mexico.

In the afternoon of the two-day program, I presented my “Poetry Table” experience as a way for each employee to deepen their relationships with their peers.

For the first part of the exercise, people walked in silence and read up to 100 poems I had placed on tables, scattered around the room. The employees took an index card with them and wrote down names of poems that spoke to them. For the time being, they left the poems on the tables.

After about 20 minutes, I told them to pick the poem that spoke to them the most.

Just by looking at people, I couldn’t have guessed which poems they would write down. In fact, I have ALWAYS been wrong if I guess even if I guess with my wife or close friends.

One attractive, older woman chose the poem, “Imperfection” by Elizabeth Carlson. She read the poem to her small group and talked about why she picked the poem. She specifically focused on how she connected to the lines about her looks and the “bump on her nose.”

Her comments were moving to the group. She was more beautiful by being vulnerable.

Image:  Bananaguay

2 responses to “We Don’t Know What Anyone is Thinking”

  1. August says:

    You should have a tab for your blog. Please do it soon!


  2. David says:

    Good idea. I am planning on changing the front page to a more typical web site home page and adding a tab for the blog.


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