Sometimes, when there’s a perceived need, you do something spontaneously that you later look back on and say to yourself, “Well, THAT was an embarrassing moment!” And that happened to me today.
It was one of those intense days at work. I’d gotten tired of waiting for help on a couple of diversity and equity volunteer things and just dove in to do them myself, which included direct-messaging a C-suite member to get a project going and having a minor hissy fit at accounts payable to get a payment made. I’m glad I got the fit of energy, and truly understood that people are extra busy and have stuff going on in their own lives that may make MY priorities not theirs! But my adrenaline was up.
Then some other work stuff went on that entailed me getting news about more changes coming up (hey, we’re Agile!) and then having to pass said news on to my team in a good change-management fashion, looking at the positive (always a challenge for someone with a personality quirk of immediately seeing the worst in something and uttering the F-word). And of course, the coworker for whom this news would be most unwelcome had to be the first one I ended up talking to.
I was telling the news to my colleague, who I’d been on-ramping for a little over a month and been working really closely with, and she was expressing her doubts as to whether she’d be great at her new thing or whether she’d enjoy it. Out of the blue, I went into Mary Poppins mode and, yes, I, who’ve lost my voice, launched vigorously into one of the first songs I ever learned in my whole life:
In every job that must be done there is an element of fun.Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman.
You find the fun and -snap- the job’s a game.
Then every task you undertake becomes a piece of cake
A lark, a spree, it’s very clear to see…
That a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down!
Yes. In a Zoom meeting, I sang a Julie Andrews song to someone whose parents weren’t even born when I toddled into a darkened theater and saw my very first movie, Disney’s Mary Poppins. With hand gestures. Oy. Potential career-limiting moment! (Here’s a link to the original; a version that I can share is below.)
To my coworker’s credit, she lit up, agreed, and said I should blog that. So, I did. I probably actually made a good point, because one of the things I’ve been telling new hires and people new to being members of an Agile team is that, in the planning meetings for each quarter, you need to find something that not only fits in with what your team’s been asked to do, but that you and the team can have fun doing. Make it educational, where you learn a new skill! Make it fun, because you’re collaborating with interesting people! Make it fulfilling, because you’re creating something that will be useful!
Yeah, just call me the team’s personal Mary Poppins. And by the way, I am grateful that while I work to keep my team’s spirits up, they do such a great job at keeping mine up as well. Everyone should be so lucky!