One of my mentoring group members told our gathered group something which has us spitting feathers! Metaphorically speaking but you get the idea.
Annoyed. Outraged. Infuriated. A couple of us swore.
Jane, let’s call her, had deputised for her boss. He was ill, there was a big meeting planned and Jane knew the drill, had prepped for the meeting and thought it should go ahead.
“I’ll run it” was her response when the general murmurs were to cancel it and people looking at each other wondering who would, if anyone would, step up. Jane did.
It was perfectly imperfect. She wasn’t her boss with his seniority and some of the tech was a bit sticky but she wanted the messages to get out there.
As a senior woman with near to 40 years experience, she knew what needed to happen and how to get the key message across.
Then she heard something which took the wind out of her sails.
A couple of weeks later someone fed back, via her boss, along the lines of “What gives Jane the right to deputise for you?” and “What gives her the right to talk about career development publically?”
And this from someone who hadn’t stepped up. Wouldn’t step up.
Well you can imagine the outraged comments which we gave Jane!
What’s interesting though is this.
- It was more about ‘him’ than about Jane.
- It was more about his perception of his importance than hers.
- It was much more that old-school kind of character and as for ‘ the right?’
Jane’s built teams. Started things from scratch. Made money. Saved projects from going off track. She’s moved about a business deftly and she’s also been headhunted and had, recently, 3 offers on her table.
What gives her the right? Grrrrrr.
The other point to note about this whole infuriating moment is this.
It was useful.
Jane now knows a little more about the perception of her to someone who needs stroking and needs to feel important.
As one of our group said, you must always look at who’s giving you feedback…
- What’s their ‘right’ to give it to you?
- How do they step up?
- What’s their motivation in saying something like that?
We decided it was useful, a reminder in that there will always be people who don’t like what you do or how you do it, despite your best intentions AND, to an extent, so bloody what?
Using the directive from the film Frozen, as Elsa the main protagonist sings – and as Jane has now done
🎼 LET IT GO, LET IT GO
CAN’T HOLD IT BACK ANYMORE
LET IT GO, LET IT GO
TURN AWAY AND SLAM THE DOOR
I DON’T CARE WHAT THEY’RE GOING TO SAY LET THE STORM RAGE ON
THE COLD NEVER BOTHERED ME ANYWAY 🎼🎼