A hard lesson

Back to work after 4 days of break was hard but I felt overall productive and efficient. Yet, I got a hard lesson. What happened was someone was being very hard with the team with a rather non-issue task. The team has been trying to be accommodative and took on “guidance” as best as we could. After back and force for three rounds, the person called me directly and demanding we follow his guidance that was actually order. You know? those military kinds that you simply follow no question asked?

I was a bit at shock when I was listening to him. What do you mean? Even those orders don’t make sense? I had to put it bluntly to him that should we follow suggestions that don’t make sense to our work? is that what he expected from us? Obviously he denied it when asked that way. But the most ironic part was he put things in a way as there’s no room for discussion, and ordered us to be “nice”.

Given that he’s above us, we tried to accommodate to show that we listened and made changes. The value added of that act was zero as basically we kept doing the same just “responded” nicely “thanks, but no thanks”. I vented with my team after the call, and we were both at shock, but well.. that’s part of the job, learn to deal with different kind of people.

Few things I learned during this episode:

  1. Lead by example or you become a dictator. It was like me shouting to the girls and ordered them to be nice to each other. Ironic isn’t it? If I don’t model how to ask things, how to behave, what would they know what’s the right way to ask and what is being nice. Need to remind this next time that I ask them to be nice.
  2. Stand up to authority figure. As a mom, sometime when I’m short on time, I just want the girls to do what I say and don’t want to hear arguments. But do I want them to do the same if they were in my shoes this week? No. I want them to stand up for themselves and defend what they think it’s right, or at least give their views, even if the person has authority over them. Despite the frustration I felt, I felt good about myself to not just head down and do what was being ordered, but fought back and stood up for the team. I want the girls to learn to do the same, which means I need them to practice starting from now even if that means they will not follow my “orders”.

In a positive note, my other boss (the real one) has arrived Manila and I had a long two hours chat in person this week. OMG! He’s an inspirational leader that I hope I can follow for the rest of my career (not possible hehhe). So caring, inspiring, kind, humble, and really listened. I felt so hopeful for the upcoming years working with him to do great things! I felt so grateful to have met and work with him, so I know what’s a real leader.

We have started ADVENT calendar activities. December 2 was writing the letter to Santa asking for gifts. I need to sneak peak while they sleep… 😀

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