In our previous blog, we came across John a manager who manages team of six members, and reports to Shwetha. John is a terrific communicator, an elegant and confident professional. From a distance, all is well for John but in reality he is facing a two-fold problem both from his superior and his senior most team member.
Let’s understand John’s view of Shwetha:
“I don’t know how to start to describe my working relationship with Shwetha; it has come to a stage where I don’t want to have interactions with her!”
That was a startling revelation. Why has it come to such deterioration?
“After every conversation with her, I end up with a feeling of insult and loss of self-worth; she makes me feel that I have not delivered any performance; she can be so fierce in her language yet so cool in her body language; others cannot make out from a distance.“
Is she being unfair in her comments about your performance? Do you think you have delivered but she doesn’t acknowledge?
“It is not that I have not delivered; her expectations are too high and she feels that I am not growing. I agree that I need to learn and improve, but making me feel useless is no way to push me for better performance”. At that stage, very unusually, John broke down. I waited for him to regroup himself and he continued.
“This is another problem; when I told her that each of her comments are affecting me negatively, she says I am not a strong personality, Perhaps I am not capable; perhaps I am not strong. But I don’t know what to do. Any help from you to deal with this situation will save me. One thing is sure that I do not want to run away from this situation thinking that I am a failure.”
What to do?
It is surely a complex relationship and it matters to John. Some of the ideas that I could share with John are:
1. This is a classic case of allowing others to decide your self-worth. You need to decide why their comments are so important for you; mostly you may not have a strong reason.
2. Ask yourself why do you need to please her all the time. Do you have any reason other than she being your boss?
3. Do carry out a positive self audit; list down all that you take pride as your achievements.
4. Surround yourself with people who are positive about you.
5. Read positive writings.
6. Work on areas that you genuinely think you need to improve. Don not defend with Shwetha.
Watch this space how John handled the other problem case – the senior most member of his team.