I recently heard back from a high mucky-muck that I had really impressed the guys at a field team briefing for... doing a great job at a field team briefing.
I'm not sure how much of a compliment that is. I mean, I assigned tasks to various people, I talked about gear and why we needed it, I explained the particular oddities of the site and client, I passed around paperwork to be filled out, and everybody filed out to Go Do Fieldwork.
I feel like this is the same thing I ran into when teaching a course a while back. Am I really that awesome? I'm a mid-career professional who's been leading team meetings for ages/teaching lots of courses. I have tons of experience doing this stuff, none of which is difficult. Why is being competent surprising? I should be competent by now!
I know that the people around me know that I'm older than, say, 20. But maybe because I look young, people forget my actual age, no matter how often I add in references to my advanced age and years of experience. Or perhaps I'm socially awkward enough that people are surprised that I can string multiple sentences together in front of a crowd.
Or maybe I just give a damn good team briefing.