Learning and reflection are critical tools within the business environment. When considering about who we are and what we do in certain situations, can often become idealised. When I personally learn the most from a situation, is when I’ve had a highly emotional reponse to something I wouldn’t expect. As someone who isn’t emotional in the first place obviously this highlights the significance of the incident and the situation. Moreover, I know myself well enough to know, the incident occuring and the emotion being felt aren’t always directly connected, this incident represents something deeper within me.
Within a session today, I was feeding back group work in regards to the concepts of entrepreneurship and when I looked up, several of the boys were laughing at me. Regardless of whether it was something to do with me personally or what I was saying, it effected me. I experience several emotional responses immediately, I felt belittled, I felt cross, I felt humiliated, I felt like storming out, I felt what my group had produced was devalued and I felt disrespected.
This moment kepted on playing in my head through-out the day, so I began to challenge my response to it. I honestly, don’t care what they think or what they think of me. I’m not a people pleaser, for the sake of it. So what was it that rocked the boat? I also considered, that these folk have done it many times, to others. But when it had been done to others, whilst I looked on disapproving, making sure I gave the speaker my full attention and reassurance that I was indeed listening, I didn’t feel so emotional about it. But it did bring up, something that my Insights Profile has highlighted, my inner value system.
I do have a high state of moral values. I have never been bulled, I have a strong sense of right and wrong and how I like to be treated. I have a vision of myself as a business woman and how I will behave and do behave. Consequently, I believe everyone deserves respect in situations and hard work should be valued. I am aware, that just because I believe it should happen, doesn’t mean it will, as are with so many social injustices of the world. But I sleep easy at night, knowing that I am a nice person and treat others well. This might be idealistic.
This clarifies why I objectively felt this was wrong and unjust. But the emotional response means, this went much deeper. I tried to think of other instances within a professional environment I have felt in a similar way. Other instances all cover times I’ve felt my contribution after hard work was devalued, not appreciated and when others don’t live up to my expectations. I often find it difficult to separate myself from my job, my work, my business, my thoughts, myself……they are often one and the same and become entertwined. Therefore, negative reactions, if I can see no logic behind them (i’ve grown to accept and embrace feedback), I take as a personal attack. Disrespect what i’m saying, what i’m talking about, my work, then you are personally and intentionally disrespecting me. This then spirals into a complete disengagement from my part and I struggle to look at the person, in the same way again; “their card is marked”. I also internalise the occurance and it knocks my confidence, for which I personally blame the person for. I then feel a disproportionate amount of anger towards the situation and towards the person, it becomes blown out of proportion.
The previous version of myself would completely disengage from working properly with the person again. We might work together in some superficial format but they will never have my full engagement. This older, wiser version of myself wants to approach this differently and as a code of practice, rationalises all my emotive responses, especially the angry ones. I cling to a mantra I have often tried to embrace, remember this is not about YOU and this is about THEM. They are not personally attacking you, they are experiencing something themselves, that has made them react in that manner. When it comes to boys professionally, I usually think I intimidate them intellectually, experience wise and motivation wise. I have been told I can be intimidating, in terms of the way I come across when talking about things. But my emotional responses, will only make me more intimidating and it is a vicious cycle.
I have to remember…..This is not about you, this is about them. They are learning too. This is not about you, this is about them. They are learning too. And what is learning, if it isn’t about mistakes? I’ve made mistakes in past reactly badly to situations due my emotional responses which I have learnt and reflected on. Therefore, i need to give them the same amount of lee way, to make mistakes in general in regards to their reactions and the way they treat people.
Moving forward…..Grow a thicker skin and don’t hold unconstructive grudges.
- Feelings Aren’t Facts (psychologytoday.com)