At the office, I have been working with a few different departments on scoping out a project. I was warned that one department was going to push back on my proposal. And it was suggested that I might consider a plan B.
As predicted, the one department did push back. So, I setup several meetings for us to discuss the project, their concerns and incorporate their feedback into the project request that is required for approval to move forward. We finally came to agreement on the project details after several months of meetings. The day came when I routed the project request for approval.
Do you want to take a guess which department rejected the project proposal?
Pissed didn’t even begin to describe how upset I was. I know that being angry is a result of someone not meeting my expectations. I was sure I had addressed all their issues. With their rejection came a list of objections they never brought to my attention. Now I was REALLY pissed.
I am sure you have had similar experiences in your life.
That night when I went home, I was relaxing and picked up a book I’d recently purchased on the Peanuts comic strip. Flipping through the book, one strip caught my eye. It had a picture of Lucy walking across the yard and talking to herself. She was saying “Doesn’t everyone know they would be much happier if they would just do what I asked?”
I just laughed to myself when I read this because it was a good reminder that the world does not revolve around my desires. It is easy for me to point a finger at the other party and say “You didn’t play fair!” But, I have learned that I also need to take a look at my side of the street and ask myself what was my part in this?
My part is that I went into the project with preconceived ideas on how this should work and continued pressing forward with my agenda. Even when I was warned when I would receive push back, I ignored it and pushed on.
Do I think the other department inappropriately handle this situation? Yes, I do. But this isn’t about them, I am not responsible for their behavior. This is about me and how I respond.
In this case, I should have listened to the advice of others in the first place and gone with plan B, which did not involve the department in question.
The next day back in the office, I discussed plan B with folks. I updated the project requests and it went through the approval process without further issue.