Insecurities, boundaries and courtesy
But let's not get to caught up in this spring-to-summer miracle and get to business at hand. Today I wanted to touch upon insecurity. I was always told to do scary things. Not dangerous. Just a bit intimidating or slightly overwhelming things. To push those boundaries a little bit more everyday. That's what I am doing everyday. That challenging file or a client or project which scare me a little but also the thought of successful completion makes me a little bit happy. Are you with me so far? I pick my mini-goals daily and work towards them. Now, what if there is a person who challenges you. Not your manager. But your peer. You are at the exact same level of pecking order. Yet this person decides to take it upon themselves to be patronising, annoying little bitch and bothers you on daily basis to remind you of irrelevant mistakes you made? Does that make you more insecure? How insecure is that person? Here's why one shouldn't give a shit.
Mistakes are mistakes at the end of the day. Should you take it on board, nod politely in agreement and continue happily with your actual work. Or should you get defensive? I shall let you on a little secret. When I came out of Uni, got a job, I had no idea what was going on so I would take any shit from anybody because I presumed everyone else was right and I was far too green to even have an opinion. But now it is not quite the same. I genuinely struggle to take 'feedback' such as this one on board. Especially when it is solely aimed to undermine me as a reliable employee. Plus when I challenged my peer to point out exactly where I have gone wrong, their response was simply that they saw my 'mistake' on a few occasions. Ok but where? And that's when I knew it is bullshit. S/he couldn't answer this simple question. Telling off, yes. Proving the problem, no. My peer decided to change the topic and show me something else. Another 'error' which had zero significance for any of the parties involved. My peer did this for the third time that day. This time in person, again showing me something was written somewhere but had zero relevance to our day. I didn't say anything. I just gave her a death-stare which was supposed to say: Are you serious? Did you really just call me over so say this? Do you realise you are interrupting me for the third time today? What is wrong with you? And that's when I understood and to have her. My peer/co-worker who is at exact same level as me got caught up in a managerial dream but sadly doesn't have shoes for it. Not yet anyway and s/he just made her first biggest mistake: allowed her self-importance get in a way of her common sense.
Ps one of the things s/he told me off for was a genuine fuck up. Insignificant one but still an actual error on my part. But the other three s/he was on about were so trivial that the key one lost its force and just gave me ammunition to shut down any argument she had.
Lesson to be learnt, start with your strongest argument first. Use the rest as back up should you need it. Before you challenge your peer be ready they won't take seriously. Have proof. Be polite but direct. Coherent, articulate, prepared but not patronising. Ask yourself would you be ok with receiving such message.
If you are the one being challenged. Before getting worked up about it. Check if there is some foundation to the allegation made. Honestly admit if error occurred. Move on don't hold gruges. If you decide dealing with this is your waste of time. Approach people who are actually in charge. Chances are others were similarly terrorised before you.,
Stay well my friends. May your heels and coffee be strong!