August 03, 2011

Super bad day

Myself and a colleague are working together in this project at work. We've had several meetings with other subject matter experts, and we have progressed far. It's a relatively new topic for both of us, but my colleague is very skilled and experienced in this type of things anyway. Until this morning. Where did all that experience and skills possessed by by colleague leave me? Hanging in there, yes, with feelings of inadequacy, failure and hopelessness. Colleague has usually dealt with presentations in the meetings, I used to sit there feeling all of the above, and frustrated too. Then the magic word "I" appeared. Then "we". Then "I" again. Who did what, who did the typing, who did the presentation, who has taken more active role in this? Who found all the data, who modified it so that "we" can present it, and take credit what "we" have achieved?
After the meeting I approached (=ambushed) my colleague and stated that she is taking all the credit to herself by using the "I" word far too many times for my liking. We did it together, not just me, not just her. My presenting my case just wasn't successful, not the way I had intended. Wrong words, wrong time, wrong place. She took it really badly, got very insulted and by then it was too late. How do you take the words back that have already been said?
There is no way.
Treat others the way you'd like to be treated yourself. Would I like someone saying the same words, in the same accusatory manner to me? Did I mean everything I said, did I mean to say it the way I did?
By the time the meeting had ended I knew I had to say what I said, but in all honesty, truthfully I did NOT mean for it to sound so awful. But of course it did.
Yogi Bhajan's words below are the very same words I have read many times, but prior to opening my mouth today I did not remember how to get the message across so as not to make it sound like the worst possible crime.
My colleague's response to all this was that she has done her best, she has always included me in the project and has given me thanks and positive feedback. She ensured that I was not forgotten. Yes, she has. She had not used to word "I" in a manner that suggests she is the only person here. She had not meant it that way.
Piss poor job from my part, not the hours and work I had contributed, but how I said it all.
I don't think there is any need to emphasize that I didn't mean it to come out this way. I've said it, what's done is done and it can't be undone.
No one died, sure, but something between us did, and repairing this damage will take a long time. If it can ever be fixed at all.
We did talk it through, but there will always be doubt in the air- will this other person turn nasty again? Any future projects are definitely in jeopardy, at least projects between the two of us. I would like an instant fix, but there is nothing like that in this world.

Yogi Bhajan's advice can be found in
webpages, and there is plenty of other stuff to explore.


Yogi Bhajan gave these five rules for communication:1

Rule 1: You are communicating for a better tomorrow, not to spoil today.

Rule 2: Whatever you are going to say is going to live forever. And you have to live through it. Therefore, take care you don’t have to live through the mud of your own communication.

Rule 3: One wrong word said can do much more wrong than you can even imagine or even estimate.

Rule 4: Words spoken are a chance for communication. Don’t turn them into a war.

Rule 5: When you communicate, you have to communicate again. Don’t make the road rough.

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