I’m dealing with an internship situation right now that, hopefully, I can get straightened out soon before everyone gets discouraged and gives up.
There are problems on all sides of this particular kerfluffle…expectations of the internship supervisor, expectations of the site supervisor, and expectations of the student intern.
Right now, the conversations are running on parallel tracks, all heading in the same general direction, but each just slightlyaway from the others.
And, unfortunately, that is how most misunderstandings are created…from general agreement but slightly divergent expectations of that agreement.
Will the world as we know it come to a screeching halt as a result of this? Doubtful.
Will some feelings be hurt? Probably.
Will important lessons be learned? Definitely.
Lesson 1: Be crystal clear on expectations of all parties involved. (Assumptions were made on all sides here.)
Lesson 2: Act quickly to clear up misunderstandings or miscommunications. (There was a delay, again on all sides, in acting on perceived problems.)
Lesson 3:Change procedures to ensure that, in future, the problem won’t bubble up again. (Done, with fingers crossed.)
In looking back at this situation, it’s pretty easy to see where the train jumped off the tracks.
Everybody was right.
And everybody was wrong.
It’s not the end of civilized life as we know it. But it isa good learning experience.
In the course of our careers, we (professionals, professors, clients, students, employers, employees…) sit in a room and talk at each other…a lot. And we assume that the other parties understand and agree with us.
Most of the time, things go as expected.
Sometimes, “we’ve got a failure to communicate.”
“Much learning does not teach understanding.”
– Heraclitus, “From Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers.”