I have a very hard time speaking my mind at times. Not in the way of not saying what I am thinking rather than just blurting out the first thing that comes to mind. Since I am a Program Manager I did it more important to stop myself before I blurt out the wrong thing. I am successful about 95% of the time. The other 5%? Well…
I think I can pretty much say that I have only really offended one person in two point five years (that show how much restraint I have, in other jobs and positions that would me offending someone about every two point five minutes…maybe hours on a good day…I’ve grown a little!!!)
Really, what it means is that I have learned to “read and now my audience”. That one person I offended was actually listening in on a conversation I was having with someone else who I KNEW would laugh with me and not go running away…actually, he returned the inappropriate comment with an even bigger one so, you know, know your audience and check for eavesdroppers.
My struggle now, however, isn’t holding my tongue, but apparently one of my staff is a serious mind reader because for the last week she has said out loud every single in appropriate thing I have been thinking.
What, you want an example? Okay! One of my employees sadly lost her husband to cancer. I was taking a collection because staff wanted to do something…card, flower, something. In talking to some of them I came up with the idea that instead of flowers, we would pay for a dinner to be delivered; you know, one less thing to worry about and really thoughtful.
Well, I said “I figure this would be nicer than flowers because flowers don’t last”. Inappropriate staff member, without missing a beat, says “yeah, they just die, and her husband just died, and that’s just sad”.
Kid you not, the EXACT same heartless thought was going through my mind! But, kudos to me, I have learned self control! A comment like that just comes off better from line staff and NOT from management, don’t you think?