Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Cup of Collaboration

My boss and I don't see eye to eye these days which in a business of ever changing market expectations and performance assessments is not all that hard to imagine. I had exactly the same problem as a financial strategist a decade or two ago and survived it somehow despite myself. In those days I was angry and felt attacked by everyone, whereas today I only hear criticism that helps me to improve my performance and visibility. What I didn't appreciate about my prior boss when I was struggling at that time, she in fact did try to raise the efficacy of the entire research platform with her changes, and had I not been so busy feeling sorry for myself, I could have noticed that she tried to help me to.

This time around I channel all that emotional stuff towards my work, and merely see my boss as a driver of change. I certainly realize that all my boss tries to accomplish is to put our research platform again on a higher level, and given that is my job assignment to work with everyone in this group, I am rooting for his changes to work out. So what if he currently doesn't care for my style that much.

Yet, we are humans not robots. We might decide to think what we want, but when we feel attacked or side-lined, negative pressure is building up that has to come out somehow. I recommend a little psychological trick that has worked for me in the past as well. When the going gets tough, just visualize the things that you appreciate, and be amazed how quickly the sentiment will change in your favor. You have probably experienced for yourself how quickly the fair-weather friends can turn sour. In the same fashion, the harsh-weather enemies can turn amicable as well. Just zoom into this outcome and before you know it, it will have happened!

The other day we had a group meeting that was all about putting our research effort on a higher level. As I was leaving the room my boss reminded me that I had forgotten my cup. I smiled. What no-one knows about this particular cup is that for me it is - given its history - a symbol of collaboration. So the symbolism of the situation here is that my boss wants me to continue what I started a long time ago, building a superb research platform of collaboration. Well, that's exactly what I gonna do, so thanks for reminding me!

What an excellent positive example of "look at what people do, not what they say!" Do you have a memory of an event that can turn a negative story into a positive one? If you do, just zoom into it until the tide turns in your favor.

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