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Young Professionals - Don’t Get Offended When Someone Shows You a Different Way

When a helpful teammate wanted to steer me back on track, rather than be grateful for their advice - I took offense. - Guest Blogger: Chandler Batts, Young Professional

I will never forget my first professional lesson in Humility - I was a brand new college graduate, and I had just started my career in corporate sales.

My very first sales meeting had me sitting at a large conference table with 15 or so other professionals, and I had a nervous excitement as I opened my laptop to prepare to take notes. I wanted to make a strong first impression, and I had always heard that by taking notes in meetings, you show that you respect the speaker or presenter.

Except, in this room of 15, mine was the only laptop open. In fact, I noticed rather quickly that I was getting sideways glances from my peers and more senior professionals in the room. As I clacked away taking notes, the staccato clicks of my keyboard seemed deafeningly loud by the relative silence around me. I looked around and saw that to a person, no one else had a laptop, but a pen and a paper notepad. One of my colleagues eventually leaned over and quietly said “Hey Chandler, I’d close the laptop if I were you. Take a sheet from my notepad instead, and next time leave the laptop back at your desk.”

In that moment, I felt a pang of pride - “Who was this person to tell me how to take notes? Didn’t they know that in college, everyone takes notes on a laptop? The pen and paper method is inefficient, your notes are hard to reference later, and it’s just so antiquated.”