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Week 17.

The Compatibility Questions

A Donut by Timothy on 3 May

Everyday, teachers stand before a buffet of personalities. You see every ‘type’ under the sun. The optimist, the pessimist, the introverts and the extroverts… As a result, I’ve developed a lot of sage advice over the years. Despite being drawn to creativity and the Arts, a shared interest does not always mean work compatibility. The following advice was created with a creative theme – although I’m sure they are applicable in many other areas of life. Perhaps you will recognise yourself in some of the following scenarios.

The Defeatist

Not everyone is going to succeed the first time. I’ve seen people begin to sense failure and then completely shut down. They block themselves off to advice and even to assistance. You are allowed to be disheartened – but a successful person does not quit when they are challenged – they can choose to change direction but they must not stop. It’s especially disheartening to see students do this, as it’s not really how the world works. Life tends to push you, whether you’re willing to move or not.

The Wild Optimist

I love optimistic people – more so because it’s a trait I completely lack. They are super easy to work with and their energy is absolutely infectious. Whilst, I don’t think it’s healthy to “seek out” criticism but a little bit of self-doubt can push you to explore and iron out any potential flaws. Be proud of your achievements, but think, “is there something I’m not seeing”.

The one-trick Pony

I know this title may be a little harsh – it certainly isn’t meant to sound so scathing. I’ve witnessed students who are extremely skilled in one particular style or medium – and you’ll never see them move beyond that skillset. I’d like to say to anyone who is intimidated by someone else’s talent – you CAN compete… with variety. Okay, if you’re not the best painter… then be a GOOD painter AND a good drawer AND a good sculptor. Having that range can make you just as, if not more useful.

The Negative Nelly

Look, I know it’s not attractive to be cocky. Modesty is a super important trait to have in terms of making friends. However, people who have no other mode than severe self-deprecation are exhausting. I think, if any of the above personalities have taught us anything, it’s that you should remain balanced. I’ve found myself asking some people how they are going and without fail, they’ll resort to the ‘I suck, woe is me’ routine. Give people a little light so they are inspired to help you or help you work your way towards it.

The Notorious Eye Roller

Okay, so you won’t necessarily see this person rolling their eyes at everything you say – but their body language is rolling all over the shop. It really grinds my gears to meet people who expect your full attention when they have something to say – but aren’t interested in hearing anything in return. In my opinion, regardless of how experienced you may become, you must have an open ear to voices other than your own.

This week's donut?

A harmonious working relationship will not survive without mutual respect. We all have our strengths and our downfalls – work with, not against, each other and you’ll be well on your way to both team and individual successes.

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