I rushed to the washroom and made that call. I tried hard to hold my tears till I was safely inside, and the moment the line connected I was between sobs and sniffles declaring that I wanted out. I wanted to quit.
I had had a run in with my colleague. Boss was involved and it turned out to be an ugly exchange. I thought my colleague was being unfair and boss was partial.
Life wasn’t being easy after the recent takeover of my team by another department and with the child and family’s demands. I thought all this was something I can’t handle. I wanted to give up.
The person on the other side of the call, had two choices to make.
1.He could sympathise with me and say “I understand. If this is all too much, talk to your boss and put in your papers. We can figure out what to do later.Take a break".
2. Or he could say “Quitting is the easiest thing to do. Why don’t we meet for lunch and talk about it?”
An article I read recently talked about the fundamental skills of investing and it went like this…
The two strongest forces in investing are “This investment looks broken because that’s how opportunity presents itself” and “This investment looks broken because it’s actually broken.”It’s hard to tell the difference in real time. Distinguishing between the two relies on accurately calculating the odds that something will eventually come along to heal or promote the market or company that looks broken. And since those odds are always less than 100%, it can take a while to tell if you’re any good at it, because even when the odds are in your favour the outcome can go the wrong way. It’s hard to do”. Read more about this here…
It’s hard to predict, to accurately calculate the odds. But some people are so good at it. And they are maybe the ones who make up the highly paid Fund manager types, or the really rich investor types. But what makes them what they are – logical, rational, calm and wise? Can we crack the code here?
I learnt during that lunch with my husband, a bit about the code to wise decision making..
3 key ways to make wiser decisions
Respond – do not react
That day we spoke about my capabilities to do the job, my love for what I was doing, instances in the past when boss had appreciated my work, why I was chosen to lead this team over other seniors who were part of the parent company over a relaxed meal. Running the numbers helps make better decisions too. I truly did not have much reason to consider that day’s event in isolation and jump to the conclusion that boss was partial.
Learn to see alternative view points
I stepped into my bosses’ shoes that day. We simulated a scenario where I played the boss and I realised I would have done and said almost the same things under those circumstances. I played my colleague’s role and realised, he wasn’t particularly trying to pull me down but was just making his point. I realised I have done similar things in the past too and haven’t meant anything malicious.
Assess the outcome of different decisions
And finally we went through the two scenarios – one of me quitting and one of me getting back calmly and sorting it all out. We went 3 – 4 steps ahead foreseeing what could happen if each of these decisions were made. I saw myself feeling bored, growing jealous of my ex colleagues, trying to get back to work after I got over my self-pity and more similar scenarios with option 1. And alternatively a possible resurrection of my relationship with my colleague and boss. I have seen many successful people at work who have been at the cross - roads and it was that split second decision to stay put that was key to their growth and success. And there have been many who have moved on to bigger and better places too.
Being able to wisely understand what is temporary and what is permanent is an essential life skill, but a difficult one to acquire. Investment decisions are not very different too.
And it also appears to me that we all need that one non emotional, no nonsense, wise friend who can help us make these decisions, because they are hard to make by ourselves. This friend needs to have full faith and a careful understanding of our abilities along with the courage to call out bullshit.
Wishing you such a friend and a lot of wisdom!