You’ve been in this game of Work for a long time. You worked your way up. You’ve worked with some good managers and some bad managers, some very in between that you can’t remember their names. As for the co-workers, let’s just say you’ve worked with almost every psychiatric diagnosis there is. From the medicated to those who are still on the wait list for meds. Yes, if there was an award for the over exposed worker, you would win. So, tell me this, why is it with all you’ve grown through and al the people around you who know just how long you’ve been in this career, why are people still inclined to challenge you?
I don’t mean disagree with your idea. Or go against you in the meeting. No, I’m talking about the people who come to you, chest poked out head held high with another co-worker in tow, and challenge you on ABOLUTELY NOTHING. I mean, you’ve told them what needs to happen, the order it should be done in and possibly pointed them towards an example of it happening once before with a successful outcome; still they want to talk loud make hand gestures and rant as if YOU don’t know what you’re talking about. Did I miss something? Was part of your experience vitae not listed on LinkedIn? I mean really is this what is actually happening to you? All I can say is, this is not the moment for a deep breath.
Nope, I am not advocating taking the high road. Nor am I suggesting you walk away. At this point in your career, at this place when you’re teaching more than doing, I fully 100% support you moving your feet just slightly wider than they are pulling back your shoulders folding your hands in front of you looking the person directly in the face and with all the power you have in your body speak back to them as if you are the lion roaring in a cartoon making the trees bend. Out of your mouth, will come the same statements you already made but this time with a force of not being shaken or tried; what you’re saying isn’t a suggestion but what should and will be done.
Yeah, I know the business books tell you how to handle situations like this so that you come off as the solidly rational one. Sure, all those “people are people” books gives actions you can take to de-escalate the person’s upset and bring the discussion ( as if it ever were) back to a level of decency. Well, you’ve done that for years, over and over. You have a reputation, as a matter of fact, of being the person who never gets upset and loses it on anyone. Today is not one of those days. Eventually, you have to make it clear to the person stepping to you and to all those around who think they might be next, that you are not the one. You are not going to, in the midst of all that you are doing, going to also take this in as well.
You’re not going to take it to the streets, but by roaring out the “plan” I’d say nothing else will be necessary. You’ve come too far and dealt with too many ins and outs ups and downs of management, fellow staff members, and industry changes; now is the time you should and can stand straight on knowing what you know.