I normally wouldn’t spend so much time fixated on the actions of a particular person, especially once it has been resolved. But I have been extremely triggered this whole week and feeling incredibly vulnerable so I felt like a little more exploration was warranted.
So perhaps triggered, is the wrong word. I’m on edge and defensive and hyper sensitive. I hate when it feels like other people have control over me. And the very fact that I am feeling this way means that I am allowing her to control me. So I tried to set some boundaries but there are new workflows in place as a result of this interaction so I have a new dynamic. I hate even more that I feel guilty when I take that control back. My job is to lead in the best way I can—and I can’t do that if I am under the yoke of someone who doesn’t have all the facts or understand the full story.
Maybe that is the issue: conflicting, needless guilt. We are so trained to feel like we are meant to give in and bend and cut away parts of ourselves at every turn in order to make people happy but we know it’s wrong—and then we feel bad for calling people on it. How are we supposed to function if we aren’t allowed to make definitive decisions because it offends someone? Honestly I am frustrated by the amount of power HR has given this woman. They are allowing her to have input in an area that she has nothing to do with. An area that she knows nothing about.
To the issue of her having power, is that my ego annoyed that someone with a position below me is telling me what to do? Perhaps. But it annoys me that a corporation that is dealing with financial issues would waste their time entertaining the opinion of someone who doesn’t do the work. That would be like letting me decide how surgeries are supposed to function. I have no business making those kind of decisions. I know that and I accept it. If she can’t accept it then there are other issues at play.
I know that my time can be better spent if her behavior was managed better. I’m not talking about controlling her, I’m talking about setting clear boundaries about what behavior will and will not be allowed in the workplace. I don’t feel like that is a revolutionary idea. In this day and age with everyone becoming offended and the hypersensitivity all around, we have lost our focus and are worried about making people happy over making people secure and safe.
The more I reflected on the latter point, I began to look at things differently. This woman is a hurt person and she is lashing out. Yes, I got caught in the tailings and I didn’t deserve it but it wasn’t personal. She had a history of issues with other people and she let her professional life get out of control because she had no control anywhere else. So the lesson really is that nothing in leadership is personal. We are so raw right now and we all feel the struggle as we try to maintain a sense of control over our world. It seems everything we know is being called into question and falling apart. That makes us cling harder to the image we hold in our minds about how things should go.