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Managing ego clashes at work !


First let me ask you a simple question ¯ what is the motto of your life? ¯ live free/take light/get worked up for everything? The question helps you analyze your responses to life, and helps gauge your experience rightly. I am sure the spark to rejuvenate your life is ablaze in you, else you wouldn't be reading.

Before we look out for solutions, answer the following questions:

o Are you easily angered or irritated?
o How do you value yourself?
o Do you carry a lot of self-doubt?
o Are you often sad, not knowing why?
o Do thoughts of comparison agonize you?
o When difficulties arise can you meet them head on or do you cave-in under pressure?

If your answer is yes, to any two of the above questions it is time to realize ¯management' of any kind ¯ either of oneself or the other or your own emotions is futile and that the real solution would be to bring deeper awareness to the emotional stress you are going through. A disturbance with a colleague or boss at work is merely a symptom. If the problem goes unattended the symptoms become acute. The walls we build around us to keep sadness out also keeps out the joy. The ability to deal with troublesome emotions also marks one's ability to be happy, loving, and joyous.

Why is dealing with one's emotions essential?

Scenario1: Boss and employee

Generally, intelligence is considered the ability to be in the good books of one's manager/employer, of course in the best interest of oneself. Let us assume you dislike your employer/manager; he does not recognize your hard work; he does not appreciate you. It hampers your opportunities for a pay rise, of a promotion or recognition among your peers. The entire experience is disturbing and you are frustrated with the mediocrity of your life. What has been your usual solution? If it has been management, then it is time to take a second look at life. Managing one's relationship is an irksome process since you need to keep juggling with your emotions.

Is there a better way of approaching the situation? Let us inquire. A sure way to discover would be to ask yourself these questions:

o Is my work really up to the required standard?
o If yes, have I ever hurt or displeased my employer/manager?
o If yes, what have I done to heal the relationship or ease the disturbance caused in the relationship?
o If no, are there other sources that could malign my image in the eyes of my boss?

As long as you are entangled in emotion, your perception is clouded and everything appears an issue/a serious problem. You feel challenged emotionally. Emotion does not permit observation of the situation/fact. Therefore even if you gave vent to your emotion by acting out your disturbance, a fresh wave of disturbance comes into play.

A clear examination and inquiry into oneself helps disentangle emotion from thought and the obvious solution would be right perception of the facts. Facts do not dis-empower; they prompt you into action. A mind that can move away from prejudice and perceive facts is an intelligent mind.

Observation and acceptance of facts enables right perception and therefore right action.
Scenario2: With your colleague and/or subordinate

Colleagues: When faced with a problem with your colleague/co-worker the general approach undertaken is to satisfy oneself by outperforming or otherwise play the blaming and bitching game when ever the situation permits.

Sub-ordinate: When caught in emotions of dislike towards your sub-ordinate, your ability to make functional decisions is misguided. Emotions of dislike do not permit concern or consideration. You treat him disparagingly or you pull him out of your team.

Better options, solutions, ways of approaching the situation are possible when you bring intelligence into your emotion and can have the right perception. You then would be able to analyze the situation intelligently. The most sought out quality in a team member is his values. It is worth-while to invest your time in a person with values and help him train in skills than have a highly skilled person with out values. Remember not to be shocked or offended if you found superior values in your sub-ordinate. Use it as a reminder from life to raise your own standards.

By analyzing the situation, you would know whether or not it is intelligent to invest efforts in building the person. Thus with clarity in thought and conscience, you would either provide him an opportunity to learn the skill and retain him and stand to gain in the longer run or make a decision to pull him out of the project/team in the interest of the organization. Right decisions are free of conflict. 

Prahasitha: The writer is Faculty, One World Academy.

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