“How do you make yourself credible? I can not go and tell everybody that I am trustworthy and even if I do so, who will trust me?
I feel I am in a mess right now. Nobody trusts me and I do not have a lot of time before they all reject me and throw me out of the organization.
I know I could have done better but trust me I learned from it. But nobody is believing me. I feel lost and down”, Ashith vented his frustration and fear of losing the job in this critical job market was clearly evident.
“What did you learn?”, Shitesh asked.
Ashith was expecting some consoling words and reassurance from Shitesh that his fears are untrue but Shitesh’s logical eyes and the question did not comfort him at all. He found this question was not in line with his emotion. He could feel tears of frustration and anger peeping out of his eyes and a little emotional support would have helped the tears flow freely. He composed himself and started thinking his learning.
“I think I should have thought ahead of time the repercussions of my casual approach towards the project. I trusted people around me would give me instant feedback when I went wrong but I was wrong. They thought I am doing everything intentionally and I have a plan. To be frank, I did not have any plan, I just flowed with the motion and did whatever sounded urgent at that moment and put my 100% efforts. I did not realize the importance of my role. But don’t you think I should be given second chance. I am so new to this role and isn’t it obvious that I will make mistakes.”, Ashith expressed his thoughts.
“Hmm..”, Sitesh responded making himself more comfortable on the chair. His look towards Ashith was full of compassion but it was clearly visible that he did not get the answer to his question. He was about to repeat the question then Ashith continued.
“Given a chance, I would plan well ahead of time, document the risks, consult with all stakeholders to see if I missed any risk or point. I would constantly engage with all to monitor the progress. I shall raise the risks in every forum and explain my attempts to mitigate it. I will stay on top of every activity even if that means others feel uncomfortable with my questions. I will make my intentions clear time to time. I will be creative in mitigating risks and seek help from anybody appropriate. I will not accept status quo.”, Ashith kept on stating what he can do to better next time. A glance of confidence was visible in his eyes while telling these.
“Can you document your learning and meet with everybody you feel has a question about your credibility and confess where you failed and explain how you will take care in future?”. Sitesh asked.
Ashith was uncomfortable with the word ‘Confess’ and it was evident on his face. With a bit of hesitation and frustration, he said, “Why should I confess?”
“Because confession is the seed for credibility, trust and reflective of your sincerity”, Sitesh explained.
“Do you think they will understand? They may find me weak and incapable because I confessed”, Ashith protested.
“What other option do you have to prove your sincerity”, Sitesh asked.
There was an uncomfortable silence in the room. Ashith thanked Sitesh for his time and left the room. Next couple of weeks Ashith was on and off to work stating different reasons and one fine morning he scheduled some time with Sitesh and put his resignation. He mentioned that he will move to his home state as he found a good opportunity there and within few weeks he was relieved of his job.
Standing tall is often seen as a matter of pride and reflective of our self-respect. Confession is seen as a bending forward towards the situation. We feel bending at a situation as a weakness, not our flexibility. This thought process has been a major reason for our stress, breakage in relationships and failure. It is true that we must not bend when we are right but the problem happens when we know we are wrong but still find it too difficult to confess. Life is not defined by a or group of situations but a long journey full of learning. We must slow down, bend a bit and absorb the learning when we feel we are losing and that will helps us to speed up. But sadly, we are so serious about our short-term successes and pride that we lose sight over the longterm win and larger purpose.
Winning formula is not to only stand tall but compose-confess-correct to stand tall.