Sometimes I can feel like a pushover; I don’t like confrontation, I hate making others feel bad – unless of course it is deserved, and I hate when I share my feelings for the response to come off like I am in the wrong. I keep my mouth shut, a lot. I let things I shouldn’t fester and boil up. I know I shouldn’t, and I am “actively” working on it the best I can.
At work finding my places in the chain of command has been a challenge. Early on I stepped on toes – that in all fairness, I felt had no place in the topic – I ruffled a lot of feathers and ultimately felt that I was a the mercy of the senior management team. I had made into reality what the perceived notion of HR is, that I am only here to back and support management, that they trump any team members needs. As I have worked through processes, attempting to balance strong opinions and varying desires, I have always found myself taking a misstep in one form or another, constantly being reminded that it is my job to keep people “in their place.”
An email went out the other day from a senior leader to a small group of team members. I was copied. The email addressed “ongoing” performance issues in a vague manner. It put each team members perceived short comings in writing and made them visible to their peers. I had no idea about the noted issues or that the message was going out. The senior leader hit send as they headed out for two days of work travel, leaving me blindsided and unprepared to discuss any points of their email.
I stood my ground. I processed my thoughts and explained to the senior leader they various ways I would have handled the situation differently. I stood up, not only for my opinions and what I know is right, but also for my team members. I found confidence I have lacked since moving into this role and I’ve committed to myself that I won’t back down; because in the end if I do, I won’t be any better than the issues I had with the message.