The way I am progressing on listing my weaknesses with this being the third post on the topic, I may end up starting a new blog itself. I did not know I needed to improve on so many fronts. Of course in some cases it is the perception of me by others that needs to be corrected. But on some points I need to genuinely improve myself.
Latest weakness I discovered is that at times I am careless about how my words can hurt the feelings of others, without my intending so. Actually a new team member had joined, and he had a prior experience of 6-7 years. When I gave him some articles to write for our in house journal, he gave me the drafts. When I read them, I found the sentences very convoluted, disjointed and very long. I said so to him and added that maybe he was first thinking in his mother tongue and then translating into English. He said nothing to me, and just nodded. Again my purpose was to improve his English at least to my level gradually. And I thought as a team lead, I was well within my rights to do so.
But later on from a mutual friend I came to know that this person was hurt a lot and was almost in tears. He did not like my suggestion to change the font and spacing. Also he did not like my comment on his translation style and how I linked it to his mother tongue. He was also of the view that English language writing is subjective and his and my styles could differ. This was an eye-opener to me. I perceived him to be receptive and interested in learning. But with such a closed mind, and touchy emotions, de-learning and re-learning becomes difficult. Well I introspected and realized that I was at fault too. Because he was a new team member, I should have been careful in interacting with him. Maybe in an effort to show him I know better than him, I over-corrected the articles. Though this is less likely but you never know. The mother-tongue comment was also too personal and I could have avoided it, specially with a new colleague, whose learning desire I was not sure of. So I need to be careful in future.
Though my happy friend has told that because I am good at heart and I am caring for all in the team, other people take it as some hidden motive and a superficial behaviour. As per them, one can’t be so concerned, smiling, selfless and soft-spoken all the time. Whatever.
The same colleague today shared with me that he is feeling left out by HOD in a team activity the HOD is doing for youngsters. Well I could empathise, as few years back I also used to feel the same sometimes. But over time I realised that most of the time having knowledge or in the loop also meant more work and more headache. So I adjusted my mindset, and on such occasions I thought it as less-work. That was always calming. Second, which I really felt was that HOD might have thought this colleague is busy in very important work, so let us not disturb him. But since HOD did not tell him, there was this demotivation. I am 100 % sure, HOD would have no inkling of this. Well this colleague intends to speak to HOD about this. Let us see.
By the way, this left-out feeling seems to be a common occurrence since few weeks back, another colleague, again a millennial told me that why don’t you hold periodic meetings of your team, so that we can know what others are doing. He was curious and inquisitive about what other people are doing in my team. The fact remains that for most of the jobs given to him he needs to be reminded 10 times, and then he does it. And strangely he is curious what jobs others are doing. Such is the workplace.