It might be a disconcerting realization to admit to yourself that despite how capable and successful you have been up till the present moment, that you now find yourself embroiled in conflict. You are definitely not feeling corporate support. It’s almost bizarre, but you sense corporate pressure as if you have somehow slipped out of favor and are no longer seen as the high performer you’ve always been. You may be a leader, but you’re struggling.
To recover from this malady, you must face the very realization that you are now working with a Psychologist and Executive coach, not something that you ever imagined for yourself, not even in your wildest dreams. Take heart. There are stages that even you may travel along your way.
Here’s what we can do since I do not have the answers without you to provide the details. I can tell you that I’ve been down this road, at least once or twice before. Here are a few points that address the “how” or POTENTIAL “stages” that can start you off. Your “leadership,” by the way, will be a foundational consideration here.
You know that you’ve been loyal for a decade now, yet “are you the only one who remembers?” You feel bewildered. Corporate politics is something you really should consider. Despite your outstanding technical expertise, you’re potentially having a somewhat negative personal impact on your colleagues, and you’re not even aware of it. Dedication is great. A focus on the bottom line is super. But your colleagues may have been distancing themselves without your awareness.
Of course, you’re feeling angry about the whole thing. Anger can be very challenging to cope with because it is what’s referred to as a secondary emotion. It’s one that derives from frustration, and worse yet, it prevents you from locating the necessary insight that you need to get you out of this debacle. What do you do to decompress and to feel “at one” with the universe? You will likely benefit from accessing a different perspective. Create a new emotional state for yourself, one that has the right impact.
You think that you know who has been responsible for causing you all these issues. This knowledge just adds to the implausibility of the situation because you’ve actually gone out of your way to help this person’s career, and so you think “this is how they repay my efforts?” You simply cannot believe what is happening. Incredulous! It’s as if this individual is trying to cause problems for you, rather than thank you for everything you’ve done for them. Use caution. Although this thinking is rational, it doesn’t mean it’s working effectively. Perception causes all of us to move into flows of either strength and power or into flows of errors, poor decision-making, and problems. Use caution.
Communication is almost always a part of most problems and so needs to be part of your solution, too. Good leadership is always concerned about how its communication impacts upon others. Is what you’re saying having a subjectively positive impact, or is the impact negative? What is the impact of what you’re not saying? It’s been a disconcerting realization, for sure. Communication, however, is the purview of leadership. Therefore, please see yourself as a leader and as a person of influence, and communicate conscientiously.
Political issues, such as conflict with others isn’t uncommon, but what surprises you is those key people that you thought were your friends don’t seem to have your back. Personal relationships within the corporate context can be tricky. People must consider the costs and benefits of aligning themselves with you. They must think in terms that are context-specific and situational. An alignment with you may be a smart strategical move one time and at another, a critical mistake. Work-place friends are always colleagues first.
When even your spouse notices and tries to talk to you about your moods, you can rest assured that you’ve got a problem that needs your undivided attention. Trust in that realization. Trust and have faith, that this is a benevolent force that is urging you to change, to become more sensitive toward others. Don’t discount them as if they are simply angling for an advantage over you.
Ultimately, you realize that you’re going to have to rebuild trust and respect with others, that is if you desire to remain in your position and in the organization. The changes that you make, the sensitivity that you start cultivating for others, will go a long way towards rekindling trust and establishing mutual respect. But don’t make the rookie mistake of thinking that if you show sensitivity today, that others will reciprocate tomorrow. That just smacks of manipulation. You’ve got to make a real and lasting change in order to regain others’ trust.
So you find yourself considering the unthinkable – “Do I still belong here?” It has been said that our career is our path – the hero’s journey – that which we must traverse for us to grow, to evolve, to become all that we can become, and experience ultimate feelings of success. It is difficult at times, like squeezing through the eye of a needle, it can hurt. Nevertheless, the benefits of perseverance can be worthwhile. All of us are on a journey and life is trying to teach us something. But what?
If you’ve been following some of my other communications, you know where I’m going with this. My bottom line is to focus on your leadership style! Things always happen for a reason, regardless of whether we are aware of the reasons or not. Times that we are able to really embrace our power and responsibility, are times when we give life to our best, what I like to refer to as our “inner leadership legends.”
The best, most competitive attitude that you can muster, might be along the lines of “I’m glad that these things have happened to me. It’s a disconcerting realization, certainly. At least I have an opportunity to change things here.” Remember, that our actions and behaviors tend to follow and reflect our inner thoughts, beliefs, and expectations. And our actions or those things others see and judge us on echoes our reputation around the organization over time. So take heart, as it is with these or similar types of thoughts, they are what lead us to the experiences of our “inner leadership legends.”