“Be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”~Nora Ephron
A colleague called me the other day. “Do you have a minute?” he asked. “I just have to think something through, to get it off my chest and out of the endless loop in my mind.”
“Sure,” I answered. “Go for it.”
He proceeded to share with me something that had happened with someone at his firm, and to avoid going into details, the gist of it was this. My colleague felt that his peer was undermining him – she shot down all of his ideas, and shot them down sarcastically; she questioned the way he managed his direct reports, and questioned him in team meetings, in front of everyone. He even felt certain – albeit maybe without direct evidence – that his peer was having conversations with their boss…about him. And not in a good way.
My colleague went on and on, and I let him. I felt he needed to purge, to release his anger and frustration, so that he could have an open mind – or at least an open-er mind, so that he could figure out how to handle the situation.
“What should I do?” he ended with.
And that’s when I thought of Nora Ephron’s quote, and shared it with my colleague. Maybe he couldn’t be the heroine of his own life, but he could be the hero. We could strategize how he could handle this, and he could take actions – purposeful, Thoughtful actions – that would help him feel less like a victim.
We discussed how he could deal directly with his peer. He could let her know how what she was doing was affecting him, or he could work with her to plan how they could work together more effectively. He could prepare responses that were Thoughtful and non-defensive for his peer’s comments and questions during meetings. He could make sure he had one-on-one time with his boss, to solidify his relationship with her.
There were, in fact, quite a number of things that he could do. And by doing them, he could be the hero of his life.
How are you being a victim? How can you be a heroine/hero?
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