When you get angry at someone due to an incident that bothered you, don’t show the anger at him. Instead be smart enough to bring equal or bigger anger on your opposite person. Many might think it as ‘an eye for an eye will make the world blind’. But my suggestion is not to go for ’tit for tat’ rather ‘control your anger and redirect your energy towards making the other person the victim’. To sum up, in short, the day you do it, you will feel content.
It was 2006-2007 when I joined a tier-2 software development firm in Chennai when they started setting up the Oracle EBS team. We joined them in middle management. Our responsibilities were to do pre-sales and help bid management team to get contents for the replying the bid document or write a proposal. Most of the times it involved dealing with multiple teams. More often than not each team will have their priority set right. A balanced scorecard is tough. Since this was an established organisation, the ‘uncles’ had a ‘say’ in almost all the things. The seniors branded us as ‘brash managers’. Reason – We questioned their established processes/procedures. ‘Yes’, It was a taboo. Did we give a care, hell ‘No’?
For a big lead generated by our team, we asked bid management to convene a meeting calling all key stakeholders. Since it was a meeting on our behalf (remember we were the new kid on the block) there was very poor attendance. It didn’t bother us we went ahead drafted the document and did the estimation. The D day approached and all the stakeholders again assembled with a determined effort to rip us apart. Senior VP of a division came and asked us to explain our effort estimation and pricing methods.
We did explain. To show his skills on effort estimation Sr. V P opened the excel sheet and with or without realising ‘what each number reflects’ he started changing it. The total prices were reducing gradually, he was happy that his ‘effort’ is showing. And the bid price would be competitive. A number was changed from 25 to 18 and as a result, the cell-connected excel sheet displayed a number that was bigger than what was originally estimated.
We were angry for two reasons – Minor: They never participated during the estimation process. Major: For a competitive price they could’ve reduced the billing rate instead they were reducing the effort for delivery.
Members were stunned. We had a sheepish look. We smiled. This further infuriated other members. They just couldn’t identify why suddenly the price started increasing. They were not ready to ask us.
When a person or team attempts to prove the others wrong, they must be doubly sure that their basic is absolutely correct. What worked yesterday need not work today. Each problem is unique.
In the above incident, we had two choices: We could have gone ahead and to prove our cocky image, defended our estimation. We had the option of saying ‘you are wrong’. But what we did, actually irritated other members but they just couldn’t say anything. The number 18 was a denominator, so the total value shoots up. What we did that day – by controlling our anger and with a smile saying ‘actually you reduced the denominator value, and the total price will go up, it’s simple mathematics’.
Yes, that pissed him off. If we had shown our anger at him the meeting could have gone berserk possibly resulting in we losing our job. We said it with a smile. No member was able to counter it and forced to accept their mistake. Needless to say that Sr.VP never came back to any discussion if he knows we are there in it.
When we limit our emotions we have complete control on the situations and also on the opposite party. Don’t need to convince all person all the time. Be calm and clear with your thought process. We can dictate the proceedings with a cool mind.