I have long believed in practicing a ‘no bullshit’ approach to managing my team. If there is something wrong, if I see emotions that need to be checked, or unfairness due to personality conflicts – I step in and say something immediately. Apologies are issued if necessary, otherwise, I have coached my team to never say ‘sorry’ for things outside of their doing or control. However, managing a team with this approach vs practicing this approach yourself can be harder than it seems.
I’ve been extremely cognizant of my reaction to when emotional situations have occurred and my reaction. This year, I’m not proud. At times I’ve done the opposite of what I’d recommend to my employees and mentees. I’ve said ‘I’m sorry’ more than a million times for things I can’t control (ie the weather), I retreat, blame my abilities, question myself, play the martyr role and internalize the horrible thoughts that surface – ie ‘maybe I’m not cut out for business’ or ‘I’m too nice to ever move into that type of position.’
This has to stop. If you are being passed up for more responsibility when you know you are capable of the role, or if you are being removed from conversations, step in and say something. It’s okay to feel mad and confused and worried about your ability to fake it as you deal with the transition at the same time as managing your employee’s perception of you, all the while ensuring it doesn’t affect the quality of your work. This isn’t easy, and it’s likely you haven’t been coached through this yet in your career.
As we all tackle the ebbs and flows of career growth, emotional intelligence, and an attempt at stability should be used to your advantage, not downfall . There are hundreds of articles about what it takes to move up the ladder, and intuition and emotional intelligence always rank near the top of the skill set. More importantly, they are innate, and can’t usually be taught through training but really do set you apart from being a manager and a leader.
So, as I was recently lovingly told, don’t apologize. Get your shit together. Write your feelings down, map out a plan, and then address conflict the proper way, without allowing guilt or fear play a role.