Updated: Jan 1, 2019
Friday afternoon, my boss told me he was not satisfied with my work.
It was painful... Painful because I didn’t see it coming; I wasn’t prepared for it.
As far as I was concerned, I was performing rather well, with the simple benchmark that I signed and launched the top 5 of our prospects’ list (including Apple and Amazon) in less than 18 months, in an area new to the business. No play-book to follow and everything to learn. For me, I was achieving, on target and proud of it.
So that day, nothing was making sense anymore.
The best way to describe how I felt would be: not being able to think anymore - my brain froze, a bit like being in shock... My reflex was to adopt the paranoid mindset that my boss wanted me out, he made things up to make it simpler for him to replace me. Common reaction when in the ‘fire’.
I left the office that day feeling victimised and really annoyed.
However, at the back of my mind, I knew there was something more I had to ‘process’. Gut feeling?
So far, I was still thinking: reaching your targets was doing your job, and when you wish to get promoted: exceed your targets! Simple.
What more did he want from me?
when I arrived at home, I spoke to my husband (he looks after a large team of successful people). After a few minutes of talking to him, I shifted my thinking and point of view.
Talking to him, made me look at the situation from my boss’ eyes. As strange or accurate as it may sound: I was now managing myself.
Shifting my point of view was the reaction I needed to allow my brain to comprehend the situation.
Point of view shifting is gold - You become objective.
It takes some adjustments and efforts to see things objectively at the receiving end.
However, once I was able to see it. I was seating in front of myself, I could see and feel the energy my attitude was generating with my boss' eyes.
Face honestly the positive or negative energy you expel. A wake up call.
Here you are. I now understand what's happening and can start accepting it. Looking back, it offered me a great shortcut to my recovery and next successes.
I now consciously shift my point of view when a similar emotion pollute my thinking. It allows me to validate that my attitude is appropriate and interpreted accordingly by myself and peers.
The questions I ask myself are: Are you miscommunicating rather than making a point? Are you aggressive rather than convincing? Are you clear and transparent enough?
Once you gather that the image you have of yourself may differ to what the person, standing in front of you, sees or perceives, you are in a position to evolve and make progress in your life and in the business world.
You're teaching yourself a growth mindset and become self-centred, relieved.
That's what I learnt, in reality, it’s not only about doing a good job and be above target. It’s about being part of the ‘team’ by being clear about what the word ‘team’ means to your company and your boss.
There is a’ game’ being played in business, and the rules are simple: Doing your job is a given, exceeding is great. What gets you further is being a contributor to the team's success.
Pass the ball rather than score on your own.
In my case, that Friday afternoon episode, made me realise that not aligning myself to the team’s purpose was not sustainable and my boss’ comments were fair.
My smug attitude was based on achievements and achievements are in the past. The past is not best friend with productivity, and my accomplishments were selfish. So wrong...
Imagine the impact this attitude would have on the team's results if we were talking about a rugby team,
I like this quote which outline nicely this thinking: Alone you go faster, together you go further.
From this talk with my boss I understood my mission: How could I correct my attitude?
This is the question my boss wanted me to answer.
My answer was to outline and accept the areas where I could support my peers and ask for support where they could assist me. Communication was my best ally while looking at situations with my interlocutor’s eyes was my personal development weapon.
It is never too late to correct your aim and mean better. You learn from your own mistakes and benefit from others feedback without even asking, just by looking at the situation or at yourself with their eyes.
What will you do to avoid these two mistakes:
- Thinking that your achievements are enough to get you the business or career you wish to have and deserve to get.
- Shift your point of view as often as possible to create a new positive habit and generate genuine self-awareness.
- Create a team and build leaders by becoming one yourself. You’re already the boss, now lead.
For me this moment was a turning point. I realised I had a lot more control than I thought over others and that it impacts my life (as in personal and in business).
Don't give me wrong it heart at the time, but I'm glad I worked on it, as this story opened many doors since and I really grateful it happened now.
Get in touch to share your story with me in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or even click on Contact in the menu bar, I’d love to hear your story and how we can fast track recovery.
Speak to you soon, Aline