Recently, I had some major changes outside of my ID world. With any change, comes some sort of anxiety (at least for me). However, in reflecting on these changes I've realized how important the role of compromise is. While you may know what is best for you, depending on your situation it may not be what's best for the bigger group. In order to meet the needs of everyone, you may need to find some middle ground.
While in the past, I've discussed the best way to reach out to those who may not understand your design choices (data driven, survey responses, personal stories, etc.), this week I want to discuss how this can be done personally (within yourself). Someone once said, "If it won't matter to you in five years, don't worry about it now..." In this situation, it can also apply to work decisions.
Recently, I was working on a project where the instructor insisted on the use of a blog in an online course. My concern with the use of a blog was that there were already multiple different "add-ons" used in the course (wiki, discussion, journals, blogs, group projects, etc.). While I focused on arguing on and on about the use of a blog and how it wasn't user friendly, how there were already so many technologies used in the course, and it doesn't do this and doesn't do that... I failed to see why the instructor liked using them. The blog had a feature where links and images could be easily added into the page, where if you used a wiki or discussion forum it is more difficult. The instructor also enjoyed the comment box. The comment box uses a smaller sized text that allows for less scrolling on the page. It also tracks differently than the discussion forums (easier to see who is commenting to who and which thread).
Once I realized what was important to this instructor, I tried to create a compromise with her regarding the use of the other technologies in the course. We were able to create a compromise in terms of the different add-ons and which would work best in the course. While the blog was not the choice I would have made in the course - it worked best for her and what she wanted to do. I had to set my feelings aside and look at the bigger picture. Had I focused and pushed towards her using a different technology, she may have asked more questions regarding the use of this tool and how the onboarding of learning the tool may have affected her teaching style. Therefore, the compromise I made not only helped myself in the long run - but it helped her in the current situation she was in.
Where does the compromise line start and begin? As I write the blog for this week, I keep thinking about those times where the compromise you are thinking about it not necessarily in the best interest of the group. How do you compromise on something that you know is not the right decision? It took me a while to understand and come to be okay with the wrong decision. How do I do this?
I document everything. I have come to peace with knowing that I have documentation of the options I presented to the instructor and that s/he did not select that option (for more details check out my blog post about The Importance of Course Mapping). After you have decided what to present, write out different solutions to the problem. Write them all out. Present them all. Chances are that the person is not going to like everything your present - that's why I like to give options. If presented with a lot of options, you are able to brainstorm and come up with the best solution to the problem. Within those options, you can provide choices that fit best practices and hope that one of the options are selected.
Until next week,