On the Chin

When the fellow I am seeing asked why I did it, the best answer I had was because it was my job.

Which is true. I was the delivery manager, I am the project manager, and on my watch someone was patently incompetent.

For the record, I have a folder of emails, notes from meetings, a bloody excel spreadsheet detailing his incompetence. I’ve been coaching him for 9 months. I’ve been advocating for a career change for him for 3 months. To be fair, it’s not like I haven’t been trying to mange the issue.

I took it on the chin.

Part of an apology, at least for me, is whole heartedly accepting the blame, even if it isn’t fully my fault. Someone has to be face of the mistake. And someone needs to acknowledge there was a mistake and apologize.

So that was me. Today. And I took it on the chin.

Which got me thinking about this blog post. It’s from 6 years, 1 month and 19 days ago. That was the first time I decided that I needed to change my way of handling failure and being wrong. I thought about that day, about my need to get better at this.

I’ve developed this trick in the last few years. I call it the “reasonable stranger” test. Effectively, I ask myself what I would tell a stranger, if they presented the situation to me. So I would tell you that I did what was reasonable.

The good news is that I did the reasonable stranger test with myself. I did start blaming myself. Spent a bit of time there. Then I pulled out the reasonable stranger test. I took it on the chin. Someone had to.

But I didn’t own it.

That feels like progress.

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One Response to On the Chin

  1. Barb says:

    I find myself working hard on this all the time. It’s so hard.

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