I Had A Complaint Made Against Me

Sometimes, it’s really easy to forget that different personality types can have a clash unintentionally. Sometimes, you might think you’re being the most efficient and nicest person working on your project. However, particular things about the way you operate unintentionally rub people the wrong way or unintentionally have an adverse effect.

Personally, from my own perspective, I’m a let’s-get-it-done, don’t-care-who’s-fault-it-is, let’s-just-work-out-what-the-problem-is-and-what’s-the-solution-and-get-on-with-the-job kind of gal. I don’t like to mess around. I don’t like to waste time on fights and blame, they’re unnecessary.

I think you should learn the lesson, get to the bottom of it, and resolve the problem at the time. If that means that you have to go back and change processes or up skill somebody, then you need to do that as well. Make sure that people don’t feel like they’re being blamed though.

I don’t directly blame people even though sometimes, it’s obvious that somebody is at fault, but I don’t specifically go out and say, “That person made a mistake.” I don’t publicly humiliate them. It’s just not necessary.

What’s necessary is to fix the problem and get on with the job. For some people, that’s a bit of an abrupt approach. Some people need to be reassured that, on a personal level, yes, maybe you’ve made a mistake, but that’s okay. Let’s work out a way forward and let’s do it quietly, for example. Some people when they feel like they’ve made a mistake, whether you say it or not, they feel so bad about it that they perceive that the whole world knows about it. They feel if you just move on with fixing the problem it will become obvious to everyone that they made the mistake.

An example is, I was in a project and a problem came up with the technical solution that had been designed. My response was, “All right, I’m going to call a meeting with all the right heads around the table to work out a solution.” That was quite a big group of people and it included stakeholders as well.

Essentially, we needed to come back to the roots of why we were doing the project and come up with a new solution. Basically, the solution didn’t work. We needed a new solution.

The person who had made a mistake with the solution felt like they were going to be ganged up on in the meeting because I called this meeting with all these people, including that person, because they were one of the right people to be there to work out a new solution. He felt like it was going to end up being this let’s-blame-the-guy-who-made-the-mistake, but that wasn’t my intention at all. It was, basically, “Let’s get the right heads in the room because I need the right knowledge in the room to come up with the right solution as soon as possible.”

This person actually raised a complaint against me because they felt like I was going to create a situation where they were going to be ganged up on and blamed for a mistake they had made. That was just their perception of the way the meeting was going to be run because that of course never crossed my mind.

For them, what they needed was for me to reassure them. “Don’t worry about the mistake. I’m not going to blame you. Nobody’s going to blame you.” They wanted to come up with the solution themselves because they felt responsible and they wanted to make sure they weren’t blamed for the mistake.

Those very different personalities inadvertently created a massive kafuffle as a result of something I have unintentionally done.

It’s really important to remember and account for the different personality types in your team, especially when things go wrong.


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