Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Sting

During week 0 (last week), we had an organizational behavior module on working in groups and teams. The syllabus clearly indicated that 90% of our grade would be based on class participation (about half of which would be determined by our peers), so naturally, many hands were raised during the duration of the class discussions. My hand was often one of those.

However, after a couple classes and a discussion of what constitutes a valuable comment/question, I began to curtail my participation. I tried to "move the conversation forward" with any comments I did offer. I offered no more than 1-2 comments/questions per class from Wednesday onward. However, in the back of my mind, I worried that my first two days of eager hand-raising had already been indelibly marked on my classmates' brains.

Now, we are being asked to rate each of 10 randomly-assigned classmates from 1 to 10 and if we desire, to provide a comment. I was clicking around in the website and discovered that you can view any feedback about you that has been submitted already; so far, I have received a 5 and a 2 and one of the raters offered his/her opinion that I was participating only because of the required participation component. Ouch.

I cannot tell you how deflated I feel right now. I know that need to develop a thicker skin if I'm going to get through this program (let alone progress in my career), but I am a person who cares deeply about what other people think of me and just those two numbers and that brief comment jotted down have been enough to pull me down today. I am enervated. How is it possible that I have been in classes for only one week?


Windsor said...

I know the feeling, but I wouldn't let it get you down. Those are just 2 opinions out of many.

Anonymous said...

I think you are worrying too much. One bad comment is not the end of the world; not everyone is going to like you or agree with everything you do.

On the other hand, you signed up for business school because you want to be a leader. Being a leader most certainly means you will be publicly criticized so take this class as a learning experience.

Palo Alto for a While said...

At this point I think it's not just those comments, but those comments combined with the growing pile of work in front of me. But thank you for those words of encouragement. They mean a lot to me at the moment.

seattle pal said...

i like that comment about leadership. take it to heart, darlin'!

Anonymous said...

What I would not do to be in your shoes? You are living the dream of thousands. so make the most of it without worrying abt all these. criticism is good anyway. In bigger scheme of 70 years of our life time, how much these things are going to hurt.

chandara said...

It's definitely always difficult to realize that we're not always going to be #1 on everyone's list, but those people will always be around and you'll just have to take them with a grain of salt. On a brighter note, at least you're developing your "thick skin" early in your MBA endeavors..I have a feeling it will come in handy once we enter the board room. But best of luck on your 1st year. You've already gotten in and that, I would say, is already half the battle:)

Soujanya said...

Wow.. I completely understand when you said "I am a person who cares deeply about what other people think of me".. I am just like that.. but I am trying to change myself..

Anyways.. nice posts.. been following you for quiet a while and its been really helpful in my apps.. esp the-stanford's "What matters to you and why" essay!! I am applying for class of 2012.

Would look forward for more from you and your experiences at the GSB :).. Wish you luck.

Could you please add me to your blogroll? my email id is

Palo Alto for a While said...

Hi Soujanya, thanks for reading and commenting and best of luck on your applications. Can you please email me or let me know in a comment the link to your blog. You're blogger profile is not publicly available.

Joanne said...

Hi! I think it's all part of your evolution as a person and leader (no road is without its bumps right?). Your blog is both logical and insightful, and I have no doubt you can be this way your classroom as well.

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