I was in a ‘situation’ once where I was in a meeting representing one sub-unit and another team member in another sub-unit was to be at this meeting too. This team member’s input was crucial to discussions at the meeting. But due to high stakes involved, this team member was pulled in several directions and could not attend the meeting.
Well, some hurried update was provided by this team member elsewhere which I explained to the bosses at this meeting. But, the overall boss was not happy that this team member was not present at this meeting. And guess who got the heat? Me.
Sure, the boss knew this wasn’t my stream of activity and I also did not want to point out the obvious so it won’t seem like I’m throwing my team member under the bus and ergo a poor team player. I listened through the transferred aggression, pacifying the boss while inwardly seething. ‘Cos I did flag to this team member the cruciality of their presence at this meeting but this team member being pressured themselves, simply could not be bothered to attend.
The situation reminds me of what happens in homes as well. The boss of the home aka the husband, faces pressures in the office or from extended family expenses and comes home to transfer the aggression from those pressures to the wife and children at home like they are the cause of his frustration. Let’s do better please. I have had reason to call out my own ‘boss’ on this trend too. ‘Cos I mean, I couldn’t have faced it as a child and now face it as a wife. Ko jor!
Anyway, with my office ‘situation’, my learning was that I do not have to make myself available for meetings where my presence is not necessary – never mind whether my colleague who is the crucial part of that meeting chooses not to show up for that meeting. So I simply told the meeting organiser afterwards, to send me a meeting invite only when my input as an SME (subject matter expert) in my realm of work is required. Till then, everyone should answer to their father’s name.
A o ni soo’re daran o (we won’t do good to our detriment o).
*image credit: http://www.google.com