Try not to take things personally
Situations get heated sometimes and often times we find ourselves saying things that we later regret. These situations can happen anywhere. It could be at work, school, or even with your family or friends. Sometimes it’s hard to recover from such situations without feeling personally offended. It’s not an uncommon thing. After all, we all inherently want to be the best at something and anything that knocks us from that position feels like a knock on our ability to do a job. However, I want to take a few minutes to just say how we really should not take things personally. It just ends up having a negative effect on your life and perspective and that’s never a good thing.
When you take things personally, the feelings that you experience are automatically negative in nature. You start questioning why did that person target me? What did I ever do? These questions, while valid, don’t help you in actually learning from the experience.
In the past few years of my life, I’ve had the benefit of being in a job where there are issues and problems lurking everywhere. It’s kind of what you sign up for when you are a project manager and you keep stepping up the ladder. Because of this, there are many times that you can get blamed for things that aren’t particularly your fault. Or maybe there are times that it is your fault but a person lashes out at you in the incorrect way. I’ve learned that in order to keep doing your job effectively, you need to be able to brush these things aside and just keep doing your job.
I bet for some people when they first read this, they might think to themselves that this Lerma dude can’t defend himself and just lets people walk all over him. I can tell you from my experiences that that is not the case. I have a different leadership perspective than many that I know and it all stems from making sure you protect the team you lead. What do I mean by this? Well, by not pointing fingers or firing back at others that might call you out or try to knock you down a few notches, you are doing a few things:
- You become the better person in responding respectfully
- You and the other person focus on learning from the experience
- You focus more on how to keep going than to get bogged down in the he said, she said argument
Think about these items for a second. If we are able to not take things personally we can prevent a lot of bad arguments or backstabbing in the office. This is very beneficial for the team and by taking the higher ground, you can show that you do acknowledge the situation but want to move past it in the best way possible. After all, isn’t that the main point of continuing improving at work? Getting constructive criticism and keeping your team’s morale high.
In summary, I’ve had many experiences where I could’ve taken things very personally. I still admit it’s hard not to go down that road because we all have the natural tendency to defend ourselves because we think we are right. However, if we begin to think positively and focus on moving forward and not dwell on mistakes (except to learn from them!) we can avoid detrimental situations and actually create a good learning experience for all parties involved. Don’t take things personally, learn from them and just keep going!