Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Major Misinterpreter

Have you ever been shocked by someone else’s words? So much so that you initially believed that they mistook you for someone else? Thankfully this is not a common occurrence in my life, but it did happen to me last week. I am luckier than most, because after one more meeting with her later this summer, I will never have to see or deal with this particular individual again. But I have been in long term situations in office environments where difficult people have come at me in different ways. I empathize with any of who have to endure this on a daily basis.

My situation really illustrates how mountains can be made out of molehills. I have been working on a project for a client for several months, and recommended an associate I had previously worked with to be a part of it. Even before the verbal altercation, I picked up an aloofness I had not previously detected. After meeting and exchanging emails this time around, she called to reprimand me for what really was a minor oversight on my part. Without yelling, she threatened to call my supervisor. When I got over the initial shock, which really took just a second, I calmly told her that no offense was meant and I apologized for the misunderstanding.

She then proceeded to tell me that she did not like my perceived “preference” for emails over phone conversations, and actually criticized me for my clients’ actions, which I had no previous knowledge of. I did not apologize for these “offenses,” because she completely misinterpreted them for her own reasons. I only told her where I was coming from and how my clients’ actions in these cases were their own. I think the way I was firm but not argumentative put her at ease; she even made small talk with me after I appeased her. I was pleased with myself after the phone call; it could have gone from bad to worse if I had lost my cool.

How have you dealt with the “major misinterpreters” in your lives?

No comments:

Disclaimer: Blog entries express the opinions of the respective Bloggers/Contributors/Authors/Commenters solely, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Women's Mosaic. As host and manager of CHICKS ROCK!, TWM acts solely as a provider of access to the internet and not as publisher of the content contained in bloggers' posts and cannot confirm the accuracy or reliability of individual entries. Each participant is solely responsible for the information, analysis and/or recommendations contained in her blog posts.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.