The other day, I was in the kitchen and my husband was in the living room with our two kids.
Seconds later, I heard a thump, followed by a blood curdling scream. I raced in to see what had happened. I saw my son face first on the floor, and my husband quickly putting his phone away as he ran over to help him.
My first thought was, “How the hell did he (my husband) let that happen?”
Second thought was, “What the fuck was he doing on his phone?”
I immediately stepped in and grabbed my son to comfort him.
In a moment of crisis and hurt, I went directly to blame.
In a moment of crisis and hurt, I stepped in because I could “do it better.”
I did the exactly same thing when I was working for my not-so-great-boss.
I was miserable. I was in crisis. I was hurting emotionally. And I needed someone to blame The only logical person was my boss. She had created this situation after all?
Or had she?
Just as my husband didn’t create the situation with my son, my boss didn’t create my situation either.
Yes, I felt unhappy.
Yes, I felt undermined.
Yes, I felt disappointed.
Yes, I felt disrespected.
Yes, I felt frustrated.
Yes, I felt unworthy.
But my former boss isn’t the one to blame for those feelings. Those feelings are mine to own. We have this false belief that other people MAKE US FEEL the way we do, but that simply isn’t true. We feel the way we do because we think the way we do. If we want to change our feelings, we must first change our thoughts.
And if we want to change our thoughts, we must acknowledge them.
We also must step AWAY from blaming other people, and also from blaming ourselves. We will never be able to create a new reality for ourselves, and change our work situation, if we are always seeking to place blame instead of solve the problem.
If you are having a problem at work, it is yours to own, and yours to solve.
What would be different for you if you couldn’t blame anyone for your current situation?
Community. Connection. Collaboration.
P.S. Come join the conversation in my private community, Thrive At Work.
MY BOSS BROKE HER PROMISE
When I started working for my not-so-great boss back in 2010, I had certain expectations for how she would “BE” as my boss, and what she would “DO.”
As my leader, and the leader of the larger community, I considered that in many ways, she had made a PROMISE to all of us. MANY PROMISES, in fact.
She had promised to treat us well and with respect.
She had promised to fulfill her duties and delegate when necessary.
She had promised to be honest and truthful.
She had promised to care about our needs, not just professionally, but personally.
She had promised to to be ethical and operate with the highest degree of integrity.
She had promised to support us and help us grow.
She had promised to collaborate often and with an open mind.
For almost 2 years, I struggled with the fact that she was consistently breaking her promises.
And when people break a promise you feel frustrated, angry, betrayed, etc, so for almost 2 years, I felt frustrated, angry, and betrayed (and more) whenever I interacted with her.
She had broken her promise.
But here’s the thing.
She had NEVER made that promise--at least not to me.
I had assumed that as my manager, and as our leader, she had promised to do all those things, but she hadn’t.
As our leader, she had promised a WHAT, but not necessarily a HOW. I was expecting a different HOW.
With those false assumptions, and hidden expectations, I had set myself up to be disappointed.
It was a major contributing factor in our conflict.
Broken promises easily lead to broken relationships.
If you are feeling frustrated, angry or betrayed by your boss or colleague because they broke a promise, I urge you to question whether they did in fact PROMISE you anything.