Sticky Notes: Understanding Context and Where You Fit In
No matter who you are, your role in any situation is determined in large part by factors that have nothing to do with you. There are preexisting, independent factors that would be present even if YOU were not, and these factors determine the context of any situation.
Before you can figure out where you fit in, you need to get a handle on the other pieces of the puzzle. Here’s what you have to ask yourself, especially when you are new to any situation:
- Where am I (what is this place)?
- What is going on here (what is the mission of the group)?
- Why is everybody here (what is at stake for the group and for each person in the group)?
- When did they all get here (not just today, but in the overall context)?
- Who are all these people (what role does each person play)?
- How are they accustomed to doing things around here (what is standard operating procedure)?
Once you get a handle on the context of any situation, you have to ask yourself where YOU fit in this picture—asking the questions above with YOU in mind this time. Then determine what thoughts, words, actions, and expectations would be best given your role in this context.