We live in a world of inputs and outputs. We also live in a world of outcomes. And these outcomes represent the interrelation between our actions and others’ perceptions. None of us is an island.
A colleague and I had slipped into the downward spiral of a worsening working relationship. We each felt the actions of the other acutely, and sometimes hyper-acutely. We had both become emotional and career islands. The spiral was set to full downwards spin.
A third party has carefully brokered a conversation. The Big Conversation. We considered how it might happen, and decided a mediated option might work.
Then, by chance, the Big Conversation happened anyway. It was cathartic and free. The more we went along, the more we learned and the more we understood. Each of our actions and perceptions of the other’s had badly clouded judgement and reality. We now know where each of us is coming from, and where we’re each going. The conversation was great.
But there’s an interesting by product of this. We’ve pretty quickly gone from being miles apart, staring far away from each other, to getting each other’s back right away. Our goals are different, but complementary.
What we learned most of all was that it was circumstances and not an inherent dislike of the other that had brought us to a bad place. And the circumstances involve other people. Which now means that each of us now has another perspective of those third parties, and our respective relationships with them.
Don’t you just love workplace politics?