I’ve tremendous coy guilt.
At least once a performance with Teachers Lounge Mafia, I throw out an offer that my scene partner has to distill, interpret and essentially guess at just what the heck it is I am suggesting.
Me: “Well, yesterday certainly was interesting. The way you handled that? Wow. I’m . . . impressed. I’d like to see that again.”
My Scene Partner: “Ummmm yes . . . and . . . “
Rather than just express my character’s intentions outright, I hint and allude and get all clever and generally make more work for my partner and my audience than necessary — or entertaining. My coyness generates a lot of argh face for the people around me.
When we are clear in our intentions and direct with our information, the people around us who want to help can build and support our ideas. The people around us who want to argue or dismantle can be more constructive in their criticism. Students we are trying to teach know the expectations and the process. Parents we are trying to inform know the situation and the context. Colleagues with whom we are trying to grow know our concerns and our strengths.
Perhaps most importantly, we can walk away from any sort of discourse with a greater sense of, “At least I got my ideas on the table.”
And ideas are much better on the table than they are hanging out in the ether of “Dude, what are you talking about?”