I’ve been accused of many things in my time, but tact has rarely been one of them. Not very many people at work think of me as political either. I’m the kind of person who wears what I think openly on my face; who doesn’t have a professional poker face and who generally speaks openly and without guile when I’m asked for my opinion. I think of these as valuable traits in an individual, but I have to be perfectly honest about the fact that none of them have ever been particularly good for my career. It seems that many of the senior managers I’ve encountered over the years don’t take too kindly to some artless twonk questioning their decisions or asking them awkward questions. Go figure.
I’ve changed over the years. Initially I was naïve and spoke freely without fearing the consequences, then I was cynical, speaking up without caring about the consequences. These days, I find myself in a job I like, working with people I respect and where I feel my opinion is valued. All of this means that my less corporately acceptable tendencies are much less in evidence: I don’t feel the need to speak up because I’m no longer outside the tent pissing in; I’m consulted and involved and not just dictated to. I still bristle at corporate bullshit, and the awkward stick is never too far away…but I’m much more comfortable in my own skin. I’m not helpless, angry and bitter anymore. I know why I come to work.
But tactful? Political? That sound you can hear is my wife laughing at the very thought of it....but I’ve been called both of those things today. Apparently, I have a real gift for writing difficult emails and communicating with difficult stakeholders in such a way as to get my point across clearly without upsetting anybody.
Well fancy that.
After nearly 20 years in the corporate world, it seems that we've finally found something that I’m good at.
Enjoy your long weekends, everyone.