At a cookout this past weekend, a friend was telling me about an experience at her workplace. Her manager had brought her in to discuss some issues with the details of her work and she said it was hard to listen to it. It wasn’t because she didn’t want to know the information; she just didn’t want to be making mistakes. And since she had only been on the job for a few weeks, she felt it was premature for her manager to be making those judgments.
Yes, it is definitely difficult to accept information that you’d rather not hear. None of us want to do a bad job so when we learn about issues, it feels bad. Yet we need to be open to it. And it will only get worse if it’s not dealt with early.
One important thing about this particular conversation is that the manager had lots of questions instead of lecturing. The manager wanted to understand the process and the logic behind what this person had done and why. That gave them a basis of understanding for the big picture and the ultimate goal, allowing them to work together on solving the problem, constructively and respectfully.
I’m sure we can all think of a situation that felt easier to ignore, hoping it would go away, but it got worse instead. Right after I got Grace, I trimmed her nails successfully. She wasn’t thrilled with the experience, but it got done without too much trauma. The second time I got the clippers out of the drawer, it was a different story. She threw a tantrum, twisting and struggling, pulling her paws from me. And instead of holding firm (literally and figuratively), I acquiesced and stopped the process. Rather than deal with the situation with Grace in a calm, assertive way, I avoided the conflict and therefore allowed nail clipping to expand to this major ordeal – for her and for me – and we’re still dealing with it. Since that incident, I have never been able to get her to allow me to trim her nails. I’m so envious when my husband pulls squirming cats into his lap, lulling them into compliance for nail time. They don’t like it any more than Grace does, but they understand the expectations and abide by them. (And given that we’re now talking about cats, well, that’s quite an accomplishment!)
I know if I had continued to address the issue with Grace that night, we would have worked it out, and I’d be saving myself an office visit to the vet every other month, where they hold and muzzle her for a relatively simple undertaking. It’s a reminder that even the most effortless situations can become onerous is you let them.
Working through problems early on will prevent minor issues from becoming major ones. Don’t get nailed like I did.