Feeling annoyed? Not quite sure what to do with yourself? I know you hate to admit it, but you’re feeling down, out of sorts, and at least a little depressed. Despite how successful you’ve been in the past, now you’re embroiled in conflict. You’re definitely not feeling corporate support.
It’s crazy-making, but you feel their pressure. As if you’ve done something wrong. You’re just not being treated as the high performer you used to be. You may be in a leadership role, but you’re struggling. You help others with their situations every day, but this time it involves you. You’re stymied.
To recover from this malady, you decide to start working with a Psychologist or Executive coach. The timing’s never been right, until now. Can you get a recommendation for someone? Does the business have an existing relationship with another company? Do you want to find someone on your own, an independent, for confidentiality? Take heart.
If you’ve never had the pleasure before now, you’ve been missing out. You should know that personal support is not only quite normal and healthy but is very likely to provide you with a renewed competitive edge. There are stages that even you may travel along your way.
How did this happen?
Here’s what we can do since I do not have the answers without you providing the details. I can tell you that I’ve been down this road, at least once or twice before. Here are a few points that address the “how” or POTENTIAL “stages” that can start you off. Your “leadership,” by the way, will be a foundational consideration here.
Key Consideration: You know that you’ve been loyal for a decade now, yet “you may be the only one who remembers.” You feel bewildered, but you should look at your office politics. It just might be the case that despite your outstanding technical expertise, you’re potentially having a somewhat negative personal impact on your colleagues. Are you aware of the impact you have on people?
Dedication to the job is great. A focus on the bottom line is super. But you’re aligning your loyalties, not with people but with a process of decisions that only cares about financial success. Your colleagues may have either moved on or been distancing themselves from you without your awareness.
Of course, you’re feeling angry about the whole thing. Anger can be very challenging to cope with because it is referred to as a secondary emotion. It derives from frustration, and worse yet, it prevents you from locating the necessary insight that you need to get you out of this debacle.
What do you do to decompress and to feel “at one” with the universe? You will likely benefit from accessing a different perspective and renewing a connection to your emotions. Ultimately, you’ll be able to create a new emotional state for yourself, one that has the right impact, one that feels more organic.
Perception & Attribution
You think that you know who has been responsible for causing you all these issues. This knowledge just adds to the implausibility of the situation because you’ve actually gone out of your way to help this person’s career. You think, “this is how they repay my efforts?” You simply cannot believe what is happening. Incredulous!
It’s as if this individual is trying to cause problems for you rather than thank you for everything you’ve done for them. Use caution. Although this pattern of thinking is rational, it doesn’t mean it’s working effectively for you. Perception causes all of us to move into flows of either strength and power or into flows of errors, poor decision-making, communication errors, and additional problems. Use caution.
Communication is almost always a part of most problems and so needs to be part of your solution, too. Good leadership is always concerned about how its communication impacts others. Is what you’re saying having a subjectively positive impact, or is the impact negative?
Forget for the moment about whether you’re right or justified in your comments. What is the impact of what you’re saying and not saying? The entire experience has been a disconcerting realization for you, for sure. However, communication is the purview of leadership, so you must control the message you’re sending. Therefore, please see yourself as a leader and as a person of influence, and communicate conscientiously.
Political issues, such as conflict with others, aren’t uncommon, but what surprises you is those key people that you thought were your friends don’t seem to have your back. Personal relationships within the corporate context can be tricky. People must consider the costs and benefits of aligning themselves with you.
They must think in terms that are context-specific and situational. An alignment with you may be a smart strategical move one time and at another, a critical mistake. Make sure that you’re paying attention to the quality of your workplace relations.
Faith & Trust
When even your spouse notices and tries to talk to you about your moods, you can rest assured that you’ve got a problem that needs your undivided attention. Trust in that realization. Trust and have faith that this is a benevolent force urging you to change and become more sensitive toward others. Don’t discount them as if they are simply angling for an advantage over you. That’s just old-fashioned paranoia.
Trust Takes Times
Ultimately, you realize that you’re going to have to rebuild trust and respect with others, that is, if you desire to remain in your position and in the organization. The changes you make and the sensitivity you start cultivating for others will go a long way towards rekindling trust and establishing mutual respect. But don’t make the rookie mistake of thinking that if you show sensitivity today, that others will reciprocate tomorrow. That just smacks of manipulation. You’ve got to make a real and lasting change to regain others’ trust.
So you find yourself considering the unthinkable – “Do I still belong here?” It has been said that our career is our path – the hero’s journey – that which we must traverse for us to grow, to evolve, to become all that we can become, and experience ultimate feelings of success. It is difficult at times, like squeezing through the eye of a needle; it can hurt. Nevertheless, the benefits of perseverance can be worthwhile. All of us are on a journey, and life is trying to teach us something. But what?
Your Leadership Style
If you’ve been following some of my other communications, you know where I’m going with this. My bottom line is to focus – not on your position – but on your leadership style! Things always happen for a reason, regardless of whether we are aware of the reasons or not. Times that we can really embrace our power and responsibility are times when we give life to our best, what I like to refer to as our “inner leadership legends.”
The best, most competitive, and yet cooperative attitude that you can muster might be along the lines of “I’m glad that these things have happened to me. It’s a disconcerting realization, certainly. At least I have an opportunity to change things here.”
Remember that our actions and behaviors tend to follow and reflect our inner thoughts, beliefs, and expectations. And our actions or those things others see and judge us on echoes our reputation around the organization over time. So take heart, as it is with these or similar types of thoughts, they are what lead us to the experiences of our “inner leadership legends.”