Being an A-type person, it is not easy for me to be patient. Most of the time I forgot to enjoy the process of getting somewhere. All I can think of is when can I complete the project so I can start another project.
I knew I missed to notice lots of things during the process, but I thought it’s OK as long as I give outstanding deliverables. Apparently it was not OK.
Most of the time I pushed and I pushed people to finish their job as soon as possible. I ignored their feeling of distress and at the end I felt like I had to do it all over again because their work was not satisfactory compared to my standard. And I wondered why on earth would someone send a submission that is not ‘great’.
One day, my ex-boss called me. It was time for performance review. As expected, my targets were all exceeding expectation and he was very grateful for that. Then he moved to HOW I delivered those targets. One word from him that put me in total shocked: “arrogant”.
The funny thing was he was shocked to see me shocked. He knew me well enough to be sure that I myself know that I tend to be direct…even blunt. He asked me how come I was surprised with his feedback. I remember telling him that I knew I am blunt, but I never thought that people would see me as an arrogant person.
He then told me that the way I cut people sentences, and my facial expression when I disregarded what they said were actually pretty bad. I also remember that I told him something like this: “I knew what they said can’t be implemented, so it doesn’t make sense to continue to go through that path. I saw 3-5 steps ahead how what they said won’t be a reality if what was expected from us was greatness.”
He said a very simple thing in return to my in-shock defense: “Why didn’t you tell them what you saw in your head then? That would make them understand why what they said didn’t make sense and that would be the first step for them to know how to improve themselves.”
I then sat in quiet in front of him for a while. He continued: “You can still deliver while being kind to others, you know?”
I nodded in agreement.
In that moment, I knew I wasn’t trying hard enough to grew my team, to encouraged them to share their thoughts. So I slapped myself (just in my mind, though) and made a promise that I will try to be nicer and kinder to anyone whom I talk to.
It was a promise I still keep.