Monday, 16 May 2011

Listen to me?

I appreciate that the title of this blog post sounds a tad on the self centred side, but do bear with me.

At work today I had a bit of a 'moment'. I found out things I wasn't happy about, hadn't been consulted on and to add insult to injury I felt that I was being dumped on work load wise. In my job we do manage our own day to day work, in that I have an amount of tenancies to 'look after' so how I manage that time is up to me so long as the net result is the same... I achieve the targets set.

So when I realised today that yet again a colleague was expecting me to do their work for them despite them being able and available, I guess I threw all my toys out of the pram as it was the straw to break this camels back. Fuming and very upset to boot I rang my line manager.

10 minutes later I came off the phone even more frustrated and upset than before. What happened?

I explained how I felt, the circumstances as I saw them and the response I got was excuse after feeble excuse and I was told I couldn't be upset because this is the way it is. By the time the call ended I was in tears.

A while after that, my 'big boss' rang. She had clearly spoken to my line manager as she wasted no time in asking how I was. And she listened. She didn't offer any reason behind my colleagues behaviour, or excuses, nor any solution to the problem, she just listened until I'd finished. Then she said she could hear I was very upset about it and that she'll be in the office tomorrow so we can discuss a way forward.

My 'big boss' didn't resolve the situation, but what she did do, which is far more important I believe is recognise that I was upset... for whatever reason that might be, whether right or wrong, she acknowledged that I was feeling this way. She listened to me.

I have no idea how the meeting is going to go tomorrow, there's a lot to discuss but I do have confidence that I won't be dismissed and ignored.

In the book 'Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus' we learn how men need to solve our issues when women need someone to simply listen, sympathise, empathise. This is what enables us to feel valued. I've never been entirely comfortable with the generalized notion of the book - women are like this, men are like that... but I do truly believe that this concept, that listening equates to valuing is an important thing to learn, male and female.
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