Share this Page URL

Chapter 4. Why Me, Lord, Why Me?—The Man... > … But It Might Be You - Pg. 37

Why Me, Lord, Why Me?--The Manager's Burden 37 The point of discussing this is so you understand that many difficult situations occur because of circumstances, and that you, as a manager, are a handy whipping post for people who are angry and frustrated. It's particularly important to remind yourself that you have to deal with someone who makes personal remarks about you. Yes, they are offensive. Yes, they sound personal. But it doesn't mean that the person hates your guts, or the situation is beyond redemption. It doesn't necessarily mean that you have messed up. ... But It Might Be You Ok, it's truth time. Who's that person who looks out at you from the mirror in the morning? Is it someone who never makes mistakes and never creates anger, frustration, and difficult behavior in others? Because you aren't perfect (are you?), that's probably not so accurate. The person who looks back at you isn't perfect, sometimes makes mistakes, and, yes, sometimes influences or creates difficult situations. OK, so if that sounds right, then, once again, welcome to the human race. Some of the difficult situations that occur are in fact directly related to handling things in less-than-perfect ways. Some- times you screw up, and you'd better face that head on. If you don't, you are going to accumulate difficult people until you are ready for the funny farm. It's important that you take on the responsibilities of handling difficult situations. That doesn't mean beating yourself up or blaming yourself. It does mean recognizing when you have handled things badly, or recognizing that you have contributed to the building of difficulty. In an earlier chapter, we mentioned it takes two to tango and two to make a difficult situation into an all-out war. Remember this. If you contribute to difficult situations, you will be unable to fix them unless you recognize your involvement and seek to avoid making similar mistakes in future. From the Manager's Desk While it may be that the difficult behavior you face isn't meant as personal, it's important to realize that you might have contributed to causing it. As a practical tip, the best way to find out is to ask the person whether you have done something that the person finds frustrating. Do it privately. Acknowledge you might have erred. All right, let's get back to the bathroom mirror. Do you see someone who is surrounded by difficult situations? How many difficult people do you encounter? If you find that a number of your employees seem difficult, then maybe it is you. If you find a number of your peers are difficult, maybe you're a contributing factor. This is always a touchy area. It's hard to take a good, honest look in the mirror and see yourself as others see you. But with respect to difficult people, it's a necessity. Here's why: Difficult people often create other difficult people. There are some people who are difficult enough that people react to them in contrary ways. You probably know a few. It's easy to recognize a difficult behavior when it's someone else's behavior. It's often very hard to identify or realize that you yourself might be difficult. What if you don't realize it? If you are, in fact, a major cause of the difficult behavior around you and don't realize it, your future is dim. It may interfere with your career, but perhaps worse, you will be ignorantly miserable for the rest of your working life.