My Bad: Hysteria Hijacks Credibility

The above slide was excerpted from a talk I gave at AIGA Houston where I used all my mistakes as an opportunity to help others avoid them. One of the bad behaviors I engaged in for far too long was using panic as a means to get traction with my managers when I needed something.

I’d rush into my manager’s office hyperventilating and gesticulating wildly about how the team was overwhelmed with work and they were going to quit and our department would go down the drain and – well, you get the idea.

The only thing it accomplished, aside from giving me a headache from trying to make the veins pop out of my head, was a loss of credibility with my boss. Your manager doesn’t have the same investment in your team or your career that you do and they are not going to share your sense of urgency. They’re also not going to look at you as a capable report unless you come in and calmly outline the current situation for them and then propose solutions. It should be just that simple, objective and emotionally neutral. Anything else will only distract from the problem at hand.