Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Are you the doer, or the adviser?

There are two types of people around you, everywhere: the doers, and the advisers.

The doers have done a lot of planning and shopping and organizing before they do what they do.
The advisers just run their mouths because they know a better way to get the task done.

When I was a young teacher, most of us with little experience  had little respect for those folks who were sent to advise us. These were usually not practicing teachers any more; they had hung their chalk, (chalk, the initial public writing instrument) and were now travelling and listing their wisdom on 3x5 cards which they read to us in the audience. Yes, before overhead projectors and computer presentations, speakers read their notes from 3x5 cards they brought to the lectern. Their advice might have been superb, but if the audience had not encountered the circumstances, the advice was lost, flew off the lectern. Worst, their advice was too general, or too idealistic. We kept thinking, this person has never taught in this classroom, with these children.

Later in my career, I too became an adviser. Remembering those initial feelings about advisers, I turned the writing of notes back to the audience. What happened last week in your classroom that you had not encountered before, and what did you need to know to handle that problem? Write that down on a 3x5 and pass it up to the front. These were the notes I used to talk about preparation and follow through.

In my house, and in terms of preparing meals for a company,  I am the doer, my husband the adviser. Whether I need his insights, he jumps right in and states them with confidence. While I can usually listen politely and nod to his desires often enough, around the holidays, when timing and traditions are crucial, I tend to be curt to my adviser in chief. "No, we are not going to make potatoes three different ways just because that's what your mother did when Aunt Carol visited."

The funny part about this conversation is the fact that I need my husband to run errands, move furniture, peel potatoes, and do all sorts of things at the last moment, and I can't listen to his reasons to do or not to do something in these circumstances even though I value his judgement and his logistics skills. Anytime I'm stumped with a dilemma, I can rely on him to simplify the steps.

Just this morning, as we debated when and how to cook the turkey for tomorrow's Thanksgiving feast with the family, considering the long distance of 150 miles, the possibility of delay, the possibility of not having time to re-heat the bird and all the other stuff, I wanted to shut him up and walk away. I could handle this, I thought, as the official cook of the family.

Instead, we each used our smart phones and researched the possibilities.
The solution: the turkey is being cooked, carved, and chilled today. Tomorrow, the turkey will travel chilled,  safely to our destination, even with delays. It will go into the oven and be re-heated properly. We moved the dinner later in the day, and provided lots of nibbling upon arrival.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone


Maggie May said...

I liked your 3x5 card idea that you reversed in your class!
I think the average person is a doer and at times, an advisor!

Hoping that you have a very Happy Thanksgiving.
Maggie x

Munir said...

I am an average person and I am a worker. Always have worked hard to get things done and to do right. I am a grandma and still have not become an adviser. Go figure.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones.

Friko said...

Happy Thanksgiving.

Not a bad solution at all, no last minute glitches and the whole thing is simplified.

Patricia Edie said...

Delightful post! Happy Thanksgiving. ..we are fortunate!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Rosaria - that makes loads of sense - peace too .. and no frazzled people carrying roasted turkey around ... plenty of time to chat and look forward to a wholesome meal. Happy Thanksgiving ... I am both - the adviser and the doer .. but then there's just me!!! Cheers Hilary

Shadow said...

I believe we are all part doer, part advisor, depending on where we are and what we are doing.

Glad you solved the dilemma, Happy Thanksgiving!

Tom Sightings said...

This is the first time I've heard of a smart phone resolving a family argument. Isn't technology wonderful!

ellen abbott said...

I'm the doer. My husband, the advisor. As I am doing whatever he will always come tell me that he would do it differently, a implying that I am doing it wrong. My standard reply is that it's a good thing there is more than one right way to do whatever it is I am doing.

yaya said...

You must have been hiding in my kitchen! My hubby will do anything I ask or he sees that needs completed but I'm the doer. For the first time ever I prepared the turkey on Wednesday, (Jack's idea) chilled over night of course, then put into an electric roaster so my oven was freed up for the sides...worked great! We also ate later in the day to accommodate one of my Grandkiddos who had to work. I hadn't seen her in a few months so I made sure we could have a good visit. It was beautiful weather for Ohio in November so all in all it was a success..and the food was way too good! Have a great weekend and I have to say that you are so clever with your idea on advising teachers. I'm sure they were impressed and also were very well "fed" for their careers!

Rob-bear said...

The distinction between doer and adviser is not so clear-cut. As you recognize.

I've been both at the same time in so many instances. Which is not as peculiar as it sounds. For example, advisers actually do a lot of the homework and planning. It is (as you also recognize) the advisers who are "parachuted in" to solve problems who are sometimes suspect. Perhaps more than "sometimes."

Great plans for Thanksgiving, btw. And good use of 3x5 cards!

Blessings and Bear hugs!

A Cuban In London said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. I love that theory about doers and advisers. I suppose I am a doer who occasionally likes advising people a bit too much! :-)

Greetings from London.

the walking man said...

UHhhhhhhhh I am the smart and wise man who has learned there are only two responses to the wife when she is of a mind to do. "yes dear, where does it go?" and "whatever you say honey." Then I go about my way and do the whatever as efficiently as I can when she isn't looking. Shutting me up is never a problem for her Rosaria, like you she is 100% 1st generation Italian American. I've learned many years ago no 3x5 cards would ever help me win an argument so i have permanently ceded my white flag of surrender.

Sally Wessely said...

Great solution! How did it work?

I'm more of a doer, but then, again, I am an adviser more often than my husband would like. ;)

At least my husband mostly stays out of the kitchen when it comes to telling me out how to cook.

Vagabonde said...

It sounds like you had a great Thanksgiving with the best solution. I am doer, adviser, cook, driver, caregiver, nurse, and everything else these days. Driving back from Nashville, under bad rainy weather and terrible traffic – took me 6 ½ hours nonstop on the road, I asked my husband how he had enjoyed the big meal and seeing his grandchildren and sister – he could not remember the meal, nor the grand children …. So now I take it easy with holidays.