Ink and bleach on Verde Toned Paper

I had a hard time finding quotes about confusion that expressed what I thought needed to be shared. So I scoured books and websites, all of which had words about being confused when I wanted to write about those who cause confusion. So I just wrote out the word and intentionally made it confusing.

I have had several experiences recently with people who seem to thrive on confusion. At first I thought it was just me. I was not understanding, not listening, not being able to comprehend what it was they were trying to do. I looked long and hard into my own actions, my words, how I expressed things or even how I did or did not listen to what they were telling me. I found myself very stirred up, agitated, confused and even angry about where it was all headed. I felt like I was swirling around a drain that never emptied.

So I stepped back and moved away from all of it. Distance gave me perspective and helped me realize that I was dealing with someone who seemed to thrive on confusion, their end game was being able to blame everything on someone else. By not telling the truth in a timely manner, not giving all the players to same facts, not being honest about who knew what or even getting everyone in the same conversation, I was struck by the immense confusion they caused. Wow! It was actually a marvel to behold! Once I began unraveling it all with everyone involved it was astonishing how much energy had been put into causing confusion.

Now, I have to be honest here. I am not sure that the source was intentionally working to confuse everyone. There is no way I could know that for sure. What I do know is that their methods, words, creation of holes in the information combined with inclusion or exclusion of people ended up creating a hornets nest or furry around a very simple topic. Whew! Lots of energy was expelled and nothing good was the result. In the end, they told us all that it was “you” and not me. Again, wow!

As I take a deep breath I think about how to not let this happen again, I think about lessons learned in dealing with this person. First, get everyone in the same conversation. Second, document who was told what AND share that with everyone. Third, think long and hard before giving this person the power to upset so many people again. And fourth, and maybe most important for leaders and all of us, not everyone should be responsible even though they say they want to be responsible. Wisdom teaches us to discern who manages things to completion and who needs to be managed in other ways. Trust but verify along the way. As the leader of the group I was remiss in believing their ‘facts’. I did not verify soon enough and that hornets nest grew bigger and bigger until it took over and kept everyone at arms length.

Lesson learned for me. It won’t happen again, not on my watch. And unfortunately everyone involved is a bit wiser, and more experienced in dealing with confusion caused by others. We all learn this some time in this journey called life, for me this was a wake up call and reminded me that not everyone has the clarity and responsibility to be in charge.

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