When No One Answers Your ID Question

 When I started IDOL courses Academy in 2020, I was a mess. One particularly difficult day, my boss informed me that the Central Office was relocating my assignment. I had the rest of the day to pack up and prepare for the following instructional day (with triple the learners now). With my partner on disability and a child at home distance-learning, I couldn’t quit, so I spent the rest of the day moving and attempting to prep.

On the ride home, I had an epiphany about one of my Storyline assets. I began working as soon as I got there. I don’t even know if I ate or how long I was working. I just remember I eventually hit a roadblock and reached out to my mentor. 

And she didn’t respond. 

Individuals in trauma experience time differently because they’re in constant fight or flight. Additionally, as a neurodivergent individual, I struggle with abrupt stops like this, which explains why I spiraled into a panic attack. My vision narrowed. My hands turned cold and started to shake. 

 

What if I’ve used up all the questions I’m allowed? What happens if no one answers?   

 

Somehow a random neuron remembered Ms. Gooding, my second-grade teacher, whose “Three Before Me” Rule was simple: we weren’t allowed to ask her anything until we’d consulted three other sources.

Sighing, my second-grade self took to Google. Within a matter of moments, I found my answer on the Articulate forum and then a YouTube tutorial showing me how to do it. My mentor did later answer my question, which confirmed what I’d found. 

In Week Two of mentoring new IDOLs, I want to convey one of the most important tools an ID has is already at their fingertips. IDOLs find answers, even if no one is there to answer their questions. YouTube has screen tutorials. Software programs like Articulate have community forums. Companies have intranets. Even IDOL courses Academy has a search tool. 

So much of my ID work is variations on searching for answers. Just last week I found a Storyline template for a colleague on something we weren’t sure how to build. Saved us both so much time, and she was so grateful! 

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t ask your mentor questions. Just don’t make them your gatekeeper, even inadvertently.  Plus, you look more professional when you’re proactive about finding answers rather than waiting on them.

Nothing is more empowering than finding your own answers. Ms. Gooding taught me this—decades after leaving her classroom.

 

Written by Mandy Brown 
💜Mandy Brown (she/her) is a fiercely neurodivergent, all-boats-rise kind of person who loves emojis and would be happy to connect with you on LinkedIn. 😉

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