Sometimes it’s just…better to leave the emotions out of the game!

Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash

Not being able to accept those things out of our control
Providing feedback or coaching
Receiving feedback
Quitting your job or getting dismissed

There was a time in my career when I was simply too honest, in my culture (employers) are not used to this type of “behavior” from employees and that wasn’t taken well back then, luckily, there are other places that embrace this (yay!) and, where combining the ingredients professionalism + honesty, can actually work well (there’s hope!). Here are some typical scenarios within professional and non-professional environments:

Not being able to accept those things out of our control

I will start with one of my favorite quotes from Epictetus:

“If we can focus on making clear what parts of our day are within our control and what parts are not, we will not only be happier, we will have a distinct advantage over other people who fail to realize they are fighting an unwinnable battle.”

- Epictetus

It is simply that, don’t waste your energy or mental peace by worrying too much about those things that you cannot simply control. Identify how can you influence those things that affect you for your own good, in a professional and calm manner, you can always be part of the change, and those changes might be for the sake of your own good and also the organization.

Learn how to identify those things that are in your control and out of it, with patience and practice, your wisdom will be forged and, you will dominate your emotional state.

Providing feedback or coaching

Disconnect your thoughts from the person in front of you, focus on goals, strategic topics, and behaviors. Define expectations and goals in a clear and precise manner and agree with the other person on those by setting some action points and always focusing on the end goal.

If there’s certain behavior that is currently affecting the team’s aura (or ours), it’s easy to fall into the trap of taking it a “bit” personal and mentioning these personal attributes or even comparing with other people making the session feel like an attack. This will provoke the other person to shut down, and nothing will be accomplished out of it.

Receiving feedback

Rule #1, Be grateful. First of all, be grateful to those dedicating some time to you to provide feedback, listen patiently, take notes and ask some clarification questions, the person providing the feedback may not be an effective feedback provider, but I’m sure you can take some useful information out of it.

There were probably times when some of us felt attacked by feedback from our boss, peers, or colleagues, and perhaps, they were just reflecting what they feel about you, they were probably not being objective or goal-driven, but guess what, that’s also helpful. You can take that opportunity to work things out with that person or anything related to what they’ve mentioned, there surely must be something useful.

Quitting your job or getting dismissed

Last but not least, a difficult episode, a failure, a break up in professional world language, probably getting dismissed is one of the toughest episodes, is that feeling of rejection, the one we feared when we were kids, at school and now at work. A cool quote about cause and effect that I like is:

“Choices made, whether bad or good, follow you forever and affect everyone in their path one way or another.”
J.E.B. Spredemann, An Unforgivable Secret

Although difficult, not impossible, when resigning due to unhappiness or getting dismissed, it’s good to keep it professional, you have people looking up to you, colleagues, peers, people around you whom you may have influenced and it is more important to keep those connections in a healthy state rather than leaving them with good and bitter memories connected to your last days. Making them part of your discomfort which is purely related to you and the employer, is not a wise path to go through for the sake of others involved.

I remembered how I had great colleagues, good connections, how happy I was with all of them, and how much I enjoyed my time working at those places, but somehow and sometimes, the emotions ruled over me, I couldn't take the feeling of rejection very well, I couldn't understand how I was not getting the appreciation I (felt) deserved after working so hard and giving it all.

As mentioned before, I take it very seriously, a job is not simply a job for me, is part of me, an important step of what I will become and part of what I care about.

Apart from your own perception, none of that matters, a job at the end of the day is a service contract, you give and receive, you cannot give what others are not willing to accept or are not simply accepting, for the sake of health and mental stability, probably the best is to part ways in good terms and always leave behind the good memories and connections.

I think we've all learned our lessons, some of us the hard way, some others in a different manner, the important thing is that we continue to learn and grow. Thanks for reading.

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Head of Product Engineering @ Vimcar

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Alexander Polanco

Alexander Polanco

Head of Product Engineering @ Vimcar

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