When I was a young girl, I dreamed of being a teacher, and so I became one.
After 10 years of teaching, though, I wanted more, so I became a school assistant principal.
As a school assistant principal, my next step would be to become a school principal, but that day never came.
I quit my job, and my career because of a negative relationship with my boss.
Looking back, I can tell you exactly what 6 things ruined my career.
Even before I took on my 2nd role as an assistant principal, I already had a preconceived notion in my head of who my new boss would be. I had developed this judgment of her based on the rumors and musings of other assistant principals.
Rumor was that she was bitch.
Rumor was that she treated her assistants with disdain.
Rumor was that she wasn’t respectful.
Rumor was that she used her Daddy’s influence to get ahead and out of trouble.
Instead of looking at any real truth behind the rumors, I internalized them and they became my truth. I judged my boss poorly from the moment I was transferred.
What if I had sought out the truth?
What if I had gotten curious?
INABILITY TO SET BOUNDARIES AND SAY NO
No one ever explicitly taught me how to set boundaries and say no.
No one ever explicitly taught me how to effectively community my needs, wants, and desires.
No one ever explicitly taught me that what I want and need is just as important as anyone else's wants and needs.
When I was stepped over, stepped on, and treated poorly, I didn’t know how to stick up for myself.
Instead, I did one of three things. 1) I pretended I didn’t care, 2) I people-pleased my way through it, or 3) I raged like crazy inside my own head
What if, instead, I had the tools and skills to stand up for myself with grace and kindess?
FOCUSING ON THE NEGATIVE
There is a direct link between gratitude and joy.
I had no joy at work because I felt no gratitude. Instead, I focused solely on all the ways that my boss was wrong and did wrong.
I complained and bitched and moaned.
What would have happened if I had looked for the silver lining?
What would have happened if I had practiced gratitude?
What would have happened if I had focused on all the reasons my boss was great at her job?
Oh, this is a sticky one. Our EGO loves to be right. It is how we protect ourselves, and how we validate who we are as human beings.
When we are right, we feel right.
Unfortunately, when we are right, that usually means that someone else is wrong.
I made my boss wrong.
Without her saying or doing a thing, she was simply wrong.
That attitude and thinking destroyed our relationship.
What would have happened if we were both right?
WAITING FOR HER TO EXTEND THE OLIVE BRANCH
Our bad relationship was not a secret. To her, to me, or to the rest of our staff.
Not only did I blame her for the bad relationship, but I was waiting around for her to be the one to extend the olive branch first.
I was waiting for her to ask to collaborate.
I was waiting for her to apologize.
I was waiting for her to acknowledge that we did in fact have problem.
What would have happened if I had been the leader I know myself to be, and lead our relationship in more positive direction?
PLAYING THE VICTIM
Throughout the almost 2 years that I worked for my not-so-great-boss I played the victim.
She was making my work-life miserable.
She was the reason that I quit.
She was the reason that I wasn’t listening to my staff.
She was the reason that I made a mistake.
It was poor me, poor me, poor me.
What if I looked to myself as being the powerful one, and focused on what I COULD DO instead of what I COULDN’T DO?
What about you?
Do you see any of these 6 in your negative relationship?
What will it take for you to transform the conflict to cooperation?
Community. Connection. Collaboration.