Brothers & Sisters,
Arguments are one of the most uncomfortable places that come with my job as a manager. In the past, I used to take the napalm, burn it all down approach. As it turns out that approach does not work for anyone involved and never ends up in any conclusions. With that being said these days I try to let the facts speak for themselves and make every attempt to avoid conflict as much as I possibly can.
Today for the first time in a long time I found myself being angry. Long story short, I had someone who works on my team tell me to calm down and if you know anything about someone who is in a heightened state of emotion, telling them to calm down very rarely ever has the desired effect. In fact, it is usually the opposite. Truth be told I wasn’t yelling, I was, however, visibly frustrated at the situation and clearly was not pleased. I have also learned that it is very rarely ever worth arguing with someone and you’re much better of being observant of both sides of the situation before settling in for rounds and rounds of debate, etc. So that is what I did today, I took a view of the case and felt that I understood as much as I could from both sides and went from there. The problem is that you never know the mental state of the person you’re having a heated debate with and I walked right into a bees nest this morning. I’m generally the first person to admit that I am wrong but in this case, I wasn’t, (we had documentation laying out clearly what was required) and there was something integral to the project being delivered that wasn’t completed. After this conversation, I immediately took a personal inventory of where I was at mentally, how I was feeling, and what the actions I needed to make were. Before last year I believe I would have just been a brooding mess for a while and held a grudge until Hell froze over. I moved on fairly quickly from the conversation and found myself focused on the work that had to get done to assure the project was delivered on time.
My friends, some times we cannot avoid a confrontation, but perhaps this letter to you can serve as a lesson in approaching it from another vantage point.