I was working for an organization that was in the midst of change.
Processes put in place to mitigate risks were being overlooked. There was too much that needed to get done within the set timeline.
Gaps started to create tensions. Some departments were focused on processes that others chose to ignore. Other departments were focused on making sure tasks were completed by deadlines while still some others kept missing them.
Thorough communication was dropped and replaced with quick e-mails that left a lot of questions unanswered. Relationships within the organization were starting to be impacted negatively. Work days got even longer. Passive aggressiveness was growing more common. Tempers were short.
In this environment I tried to get people to pause and listen to each other. I was met with resistance. Some listened. Some didn’t. Some improvements were made while some financial losses was incurred.
I could see it all happening before my eyes. I knew I had the answers to make things better – to improve relationships, to help people have a healthier work schedule and to save the organization money. People just weren’t listening or taking the time to communicate thoroughly.
I went to a colleague and shared my frustration. The response was one I had heard many times before. This time it sunk in. It was simple really. She told me to accept the circumstances.
I know. Accept?!
At first I felt defeated. What? Just accept that there would be risks? That the company and the employees would potentially be negatively impacted? Yep.
I felt like a failure.
As I sat there about to wallow in this feeling and feed my resentment, my colleague reminded me of something else: I could only be held responsible for my part in the situation. I, alone, was not responsible for the outcome. Each person was responsible for their contribution to the end result.
The work you do is important. It impacts lives. I empathize with the feeling that there is little to no room for failure. Here’s the thing: You can’t own all of it.
If you have done all you can, your very best, then make peace with where you are at. Beating yourself up and pushing to do more when it is met with so much resistance is futile. Accept.
Accept where you are at. Try not to own it all. It’s not yours to own. Accept the situation. It is what it is. Take a moment to re-group. Then move forward. Shift your energy to where you can make a difference. And be gentle with yourself. Seriously. You are doing the best you can.
This is a lesson I am continually learning. I could choose not to learn it. And there are times I do. I am so intent on seeing things through in the way I feel is best. The reward for this approach is stress, frustration, anger, anxiety and feeling depressed. Every. Single. Time.
When I accept the situation for what it is I feel a weight lift off my shoulders. With the burden relieved I am able to look at the situation with a fresh perspective and ask for help.
Give it a try. Make peace with where you are. Choose to accept.
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