Finding a common ground can be quite difficult. Especially when the divide between two people is rather substantial. We all think that we are right when we are in an argument. The problem is we don’t sit down and listen to what the other person really has to say. Most times we are more focused on what we are going to say in response and actually hearing them out. I call this “talking at someone”. There is an ample amount of difference between talking TO someone and talking AT them.
Well, emotions have been running high at work lately. I don’t do confrontation. AT ALL. I will say though that I’m the type of person who will hold it all in and then blow my lid over something as small as dropping a pencil on the ground. Anyway, we have these two new supervisors that had started while I was away in training. When I came back to the store I IMMEDIATELY got a fallacious vibe. My guard went up almost instantly and the tension that filled the building was so thick it could have been cut with a knife. You see, with me, first impressions are EVERYTHING. If the first time I meet you and you say something like “why do you wear all black?” (which isn’t something that happened at work but happens to me often) or “You gained weight from your pictures” (which also didn’t happen at work but is something that happens often) or “Hi, that’s against policy” (DING DING DING!) well, let’s just say that I pretty much lose all respect for you at that point and I don’t even want to get to know you as a person. So all through the week we were assholes to one another. Little snide comments here and there, mainly on my part, and sales given away to specific people while the rest of us struggle (not on my part). By the time Saturday evening rolled around I was good and pissed off and about to explode when the new supervisors wanted to have a “one on one” conversation with each of us. I had a feeling it was aimed more towards me for my shitty attitude I had acquired over the week and towards another co-worker who said they were making sales calls when they weren’t.
Once again, my anxiety spiked. It was so bad that I was sweating even though it wasn’t hot and my hands were shaky, but I told myself that this NEEDED to happen. It had to be all brought to the table and possibly get a little nasty before there was a chance that it could get better. So one by one, each associate gets pulled to the back. Some are having conversations longer than others. I become more and more restless each time someone gets called to the back and it’s not me until finally, my name is called. I head to the back and sit down on the chair facing my two foes. One of them I thought was cool with me until I find out right then and there that she was a traitor the whole time. She told him about why I was angry the entire week, in detail. I guess I wasn’t really too upset that he knew, because a part of me wanted him to know I was upset, but all in the same it was a backstabbing feeling that I was getting in my gut.
We hashed it out, all three of us. I was a little what they call “brutally honest”, but it was okay because they took what I said and didn’t get angry with me but actually listened to my comments and concerns. By the end of the exchange, we found a common ground. Neutral territory. I walked out of the room with relief, feeling better to finally get it all off of my chest.
Hopefully now that we laid everything out on the table, we can push forward and actually be a unit, instead of individually wrapped in our own wrong doings. I guess only time will tell.