I recently (January 2019) saw a tweet by someone who speaks regularly in the software / agile testing community. It was short and direct. But it had a broader impact on me beyond the words. Here’s the tweet:
I’m a practitioner. Most of my days I’m not traveling/speaking but delivering software to partners and users and making that a better experience for us all. You don’t have to do what I do. You don’t have to tell me you disagree. Some use too much effort to correct my reality.
That complained about folks trying to correct “their reality” that they present publicly.
And I’d agree with them if they were a 100% practitioner working on private projects in private companies. That is, not in the public forum.
However, they clearly have chosen to “go public” with their ideas. In recent years, they have become an accomplished public speaker, idea presenter, and role model for many, many testers. And not solely limited to testers, but beyond to software development teams.
And with this sort of role, comes great responsibility…or at least I think it does.
When I saw their response in dawned on me that I’m in a similar position. And lord knows, my experiences and ideas have been challenged over the years. But that comes with the territory. It comes with my role of stepping into the spotlight and sharing my ideas as a practitioner, author, and thought leader.
As part of me stepping up on that stage, there are inherent responsibilities that I have. I think I need to be:
Willing, open, and welcoming to having my ideas challenged.
Open to listening to others ideas or reactions to mine.
Willing to try and explain my ideas in a wide variety of ways.
Thankful for the opportunity that has been granted to me for sharing.
Welcoming of others speaking in our community.
And thick skinned - knowing that not everyone will ever embrace my ideas.
Simply glad that I have something to say and the opportunity to say it ;-)
My anonymous poster inspired me to consider how I’m showing up with folks when I present my ideas. I hope I never get to the point where I consider this incredible privilege an inconvenience, annoying, bothersome, or a pain in my you-know-what.
Otherwise, I should STOP and simply step out of the spotlight.
Stay agile my friends,