Our darker side

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An article by Angela Garvey Hammond on Insead knowledge portal appealed me, and here is the part I liked

Your career flourishes, you’re on your way up and then the cracks begin to show, along with the “dark side of your personality”. Understanding and managing this, Jarrett says, is “a key skill to moving from executive management to leadership”.

Generally agreed negative areas include: “poor interpersonal relationships; being aloof or arrogant; an inability to build a team or cohesion; an inability to manage one’s context or differences with upper management or other stakeholders; over-used strength; and failure to meet business objectives due to betraying trust or being overly ambitious.”

Jarrett goes on to look at work on Attachment theory (by Mary Ainsworth and John Bowlby**) and their basic idea that adults develop attachment styles based on how they were treated as children themselves. “The implication for executives is that the fault lines for derailment are set a long time before people get to sit at the boardroom table. They occur in the roots of our childhood and in the early years we develop attachment that sit, waiting, in the dark shadows.”

I don’t know but I almost always end up finding all the negative traits in me. Poor interpersonal relationships to stat with. I used to think of this as my best quality. But in last few months, my experience has been different. I was told few of my juniors have been telling bad things about me to their friends. So I failed somewhere in revealing my real side to these juniors, so I failed in interpersonal relationship. Last year my immediate boss changed and a new boss came. Earlier I was reporting to HOD, and now I am reporting to a person 2 years and 1 level senior to me. That in itself is a demotivator. His attitude towards me further aggravated the problem, and it ended in cold war like situation between us. He has remarked in my appraisal that I need to be given training on interpersonal relations. So here too I failed. Hmmm, time to retune myself.

Being aloof is also my second nature. As I keep sitting on my seat the whole day. Most of the people enjoy bitching which I am not interested in. And also I find it a waste of my time and others’ time  chit-chatting in office. This aloofness is also taken as arrogance by many.

Well till now I used to think that I built great teams and was good at cohesion. But these 2-3 juniors who badmouthed me shook my confidence. So here too I am at fault. Poor me.

Differences with upper management, as mentioned I have started to have now, after 15 years of workex.

Over-used strength is one area where I can claim to be not guilty. That goes with my non-assertive and adjusting nature.

Overly ambitious again I am not, I err on the side of caution rather.

What about you?

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