Office Communication

Someone let me know yesterday that a comment I made in a Reply-All was “out of line.” Someone else was at my desk at the time, and we were discussing the issue in person (not the issue with my comment: the issue that needed to be addressed by our teams). So after that person left, I phoned the person who called me out. His complaints seemed driven by a few motivators: the direction our organization was headed, the routines of teams out of his control, and a complaint from another employee to him about my team. He also emphasized that the team I had named as holding up an issue was under a lot of stress, and he didn’t want to jeopardize that team’s effectiveness by lowering morale.

All of this made sense, and I will watch what I say and be more considerate in the future.

I didn’t make a lot of excuses — I was out of the office at the dentist for some of the conversation (didn’t bring that up) and the issue had been sitting in someone’s lap for 5 days with no activity (didn’t bring that up). But I also didn’t make a lot of apologies. As I listened to him (and note that he has Director status) I realized some of his complaints were not specifically about me: I was just his punching bag for the hour.

There is some humor (if not irony) in the way he delivered his message.

His point was to criticize my quick email, which diminished another team’s contributions. And he suggested a return to the days when people walked over to the other person and discussed an issue.

The way he delivered his message?

He sent me a quick email, which diminished my contributions.

This returns me to the thought that people dislike in others what they dislike in themselves.