Here is a situation that happened to me one day. My colleagues and I were summoned in my boss’s office. Nothing out of the ordinary as she very often calls us for multiple reasons in search of answers or explanation. During those times, we have been under increasing stress since it is “year-end”, which means that we are closing the books for the 2011 fiscal year.
After we all quickly settled in, the valves were opened wide. Right off the start, we got criticized for an issue caused by other people. To explain to you what happened (and what we do), picture this; People work and sometimes it creates messes, but we are here to clean up after them. While we are trying our best to clean up as good as we can, sometimes, crumbs can be left in a corner or dark corridors. These problems are easily fixable but somehow, these crumbs have created a full-fledged loaf by my boss’s standard.
Let’s continue: accusing us of not cleaning the mess properly enough, she blames us that we do not confront her superior enough when she has special requests. She is suggesting that we should challenge her every requests and second-guess her. As we sit there baffled by what we are hearing (who in their right mind does that), another person starts accusing us of something completely unrelated to the discussion. The situation escalated so much that one of my team members lost patience and shouted back at the other person. It ended up as I simply exited the office, some of my colleagues were pissed off, 1 is on the verge to jump ship and no news from the accuser. For my boss, business as usual. [ Note : Why exited? I will explain on another post]
Now, let us think a second. How would you feel if someone unleashed their wrath at you? Do you think your message gets across and your team will understand you? Do you think that they will take initiative to bend to every desire and need? No. We are not in ancient Egypt and we are not building a pyramid. Fortunately (for my fellow teammates) and unfortunately for my boss, there are other possibilities for each and every one of us and mistreating people can only create one thing, more enemies.
Already in your 10K, you have to face all kinds of challenges and uphill battles, if there is one thing that you do not want, if putting people against you. Not that I am suggesting that you should please everyone (Jesus had haters too), but if you can, make people comfortable working with you and enjoying it. This is how you create allies. Screaming should only be used when in a bar or in a loud place. Accusations are best left to lawyers and politicians. You should be building your brand and your network.
[Did you like this article? I am attempting to make it slightly more personal as it will help you understand where I, sometimes, come from with my posts. If you hated it, leave a comment. If you loved it, share it.]