Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Biting my tongue and forgetting to breathe

So I momentarily considered not writing a post tonight because I've found a whole new group of fun and interesting blogs which I want to read and visit. Sadly for you I just couldn't resist having my daily dribble and subjecting all of you to my thoughts.

My focus today is on tact and diplomacy and how I need to better learn these fine arts, I'm getting better but it's taking a concerted effort on my part. Two different happenings occurred at work today in which I was forced to bite my tongue and not hit the reply button on my email with a biting comment or worse pick up the phone and really go to town on the perpetrators. See, this is me utilising my tact and diplomacy skills. I find this really hard especially when my favourite comebacks would have to be 'bugger off' and 'you have no idea what a moron you sound like'.

First occurence - I sent out meeting invites for the numerous meetings we will begin holding on a monthly basis on the project. One enterprising individual emailed me back asking that I at least have the courtesy to check with him when scheduling meetings as he made allowances to attend the last meeting. He is one of about forty individuals that I have to schedule for these meetings and he knows this.

I bit my tongue, said lots of curse words under my breath and then in true communication mode, I drafted back a nice tacful and diplomatic response to all meeting attendees that I would schedule 12 months of meetings which would occur at the same time every month. Cut me some slack this was what we had planned to do going forward, we've only just got approval and have not put them in place yet.

So while I understood his point, his lack of appropriate communication skills made my blood boil. I can give him a break (only because I have to), he's male, he's young and he's full of self importance - the reality is that he's not that important and someone else could stand in for him. Arggghhh.

Second occurence - another delightful person telling me by email that what I had written in the minutes of a meeting was incorrect and that I should change it. Mmm wrong again, it was said, it was agreed to and just because you weren't listening is not my concern. My boss told me to write the words, this guys' boss agreed with what had been said in the first place so who has the problem?

My bosses indignation at both of these emails (he was cc'd in on them as well) was almost as great as mine, so I felt reassured that it wasn't just me being sensitive. I am rapidly learning not to take them personally, if I didn't - then I would probably have a complex the size of the Grand Canyon.

Project work with all of its urgency and prioritising is all a new learning curve for me and I find it hard when people are ignorant or rude. Ask me nicely and I can work miracles, attack me and my horns will come out and they will stay out for a long time to come. It's been said by my loyal following on this blog that I need to learn to breathe - I am, really I am. Occasionally though I turn a nasty shade of blue because I forget to breathe and I'm biting down hard on my tongue

So my question today, do you struggle with tact and diplomacy, or do you know someone who seriously needs a lesson in these skills?

Cheers, Fi

A real diplomat is one who can cut his neighbor's throat without having his neighbor notice it. ~ Trygve Lie


  1. Haha! good job!

    I have another rule that follows my BREATHE rule -- Don't take yourself so seriously...

    When I remember that rule, all the pettiness that arises in a day becomes just something to deal with... gracefully!

    Good work on your part Fi. You don't good! :)

  2. I am so much like you Fi! Sometimes I have to almost stuff my hand into my mouth to refrain from the first response that wants to pop out! Mostly I am successful, once in a great while I let loose if pushed to far. The secret, I suppose, is to realize that their pettiness is not really aimed at you personally, they are just acting out and you happen to be in the line of fire. One does wonder though, if some folks even consider that they are just one cog in the wheel that makes the job run, no bigger and no smaller than any of the other cogs required to complete the task. Self-importance is highly overrated! Sounds like you handled it quite well to me, even if slowly simmering on the back burner. :-)


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