What I do

I’m sure I can stress out about going to that conference over the next few weeks.

For now, let me explain the work situation. In general terms, I work for a multi-national engineering company. I’ve been with them for nearly 10 years, and they’ve treated me very well. I’ve had to move a lot (this is the fourth “office” I’ve been in) but the changes every few years keep things interesting. I’m not sure how keen I am on moving again, but that’s for another day.

Anyway, I’ve got eight guys who report directly to me. They do the design work for engineering projects, and I coordinate everything and check to make sure the work is getting done the right way. I should mention we’re a consulting company, and we’re on site with our client. So I face the client and report on whatever problems or issues we might be having.

With regards to stuttering, there’s plenty of it by me here at work. I’m on the phone now and again, and more often than not in meetings.

If I’m on the phone with one of my guys (they’re across the building and down three floors) I usually don’t have many issues. I find I can take my time, and can figure out a solution pretty quickly to whatever the issue is. Since I know it’ll work, the confidence carries my voice and there’s little stuttering. There is the occasional disconnect when I have to explain something in a few different ways — none of my guys are native English speakers.

I haven’t been formally trained in managing people but have gotten the experience through having the job and having to figure it out. What I’ve learned, at the core, is that not only do different people need to be communicated to in different ways, but it’s essential to make sure they have the exact same understanding you do when the call ends. This is often the issue.

If I still feel that the point isn’t getting across on the phone, then I hoof it over to them and we hash it out.

The meetings can sometimes be rough, though. I’ll discuss that tomorrow.

I should mention here that now, in the early days of this blog, I’m just looking to scratch the surface of my stuttering and what it means to me. The ultimate goal is to dive a lot deeper on every issue. For example, there’s a lot more to talking on the phone than what I’ve written above, and there are so many variables that I haven’t talked about (yet).

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