Insert: engaging title (and a lesson in teamwork).

I am exhausted. I have impressed myself this week with an iron will, and as the week concludes, I simply lack the engaging title required to provide insight into my fourth week. A four-foot rattlesnake, yes, I said it, saw it and spent my entire day with a wonderful local company trying to remove it from my house. Welcome to Arizona! Who needs a party when you are greeted with a four-foot nope rope. The Western Diamondback is a particularly beautiful danger noodle, one I was hoping I would not ever become so close with. Not in a “we’re friends now” kind of way… but more like “No!! It’s Monday, and I really need you to slither away.” Little did I know, such an invitation could be misunderstood as, “Welcome to the Quigley home, what’s mine is yours.”

I was graced with a local and knowledgeable official with “reasonable prices” for the humane "nope rope" relocation on the subject of cross-cultural teams and leadership. Excellent leadership skills and delegation ability caught my attention. At the same time, I stood in the hot desert sun, hoping my new guest did not have offspring of a smaller variety ready to raddle my nerves and bite one of my ankles at any minute. Non-academically, my greatest lesson this week has been the core belief that the desert has evolved to simply sting, bite, and hurt me!

Three men showed up to help remove the snake. As I watched them delegate, communicate, and anticipate the snake's movements... I found myself taking notes and preparing changes for the assignment this week. The snake rather cleverly found a way to draw out her relocation for approximately 4 hours! However, it gave me time to observe and reflect on another leader directing his team's activities. I watched the communication between team members and tried to compare what I saw to my readings over the last few weeks. The entire experience started unwelcome ly but allowed me to develop further my evaluation tool, based on what I was witnessing in a vastly different team experience from what I am used to.

In the academic realm of my week, I spent most of the week reading and questioning my dissertation topic and focus again.  The last two years have been very hard for me, but I am so proud of how far I have come as a person, a scholar, and a mom. I really enjoyed reading the class discussions. The discussions on constructive criticism were helpful to me both professionally and personally. My oldest child is 17 and has too many friends that are currently struggling with constructive criticism. Then on Thursday, there was an incident between staff members for the hotel, where a friendly reminder was misunderstood and quickly escalated into a distraught phone call that took up a good majority of my afternoon to address. I am ready for a splendid night’s sleep and week five.

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