After a nearly 14 year career with Border, CommonWealth, and Servus Credit Union, I am proud to say I don’t have a lot of regrets.
With that being said, I do have one particular moment that stands out in my mind that I would like a mulligan on. I would say it is likely my dumbest and most embarrassing moment of my career.
I regret it immensely to this day.
It was 2008 and my family and I had just celebrated the arrival of our 2nd child. Typically when this happens, Servus congratulates you by providing a baby gift. For whatever reason, I didn’t receive one. While not pleased, I didn’t push this issue as we had just completed the merger and I didn’t want to cause any problems as we had more important things to worry about.
Nearly three months later, I received an email to let me know that they had a present and I could come pick it up.
This upset me more than not receiving a gift.
No face to face congratulations. No handshake. Just come and pick it up…..after three months.
For those of you that know me, I am a HUGE family man. The birth of my three children are tied for 2nd as my most memorable moments in life (marrying my wife is numero uno).
When I received the email that day, I took it like a slap in the face. I felt that I was not being valued.
I went to my manager’s office to vent, but unfortunately, she wasn’t there. What I should have done next was go for a walk to calm myself down. I didn’t. I proceeded to venture to the “department at fault” to discuss the situation with the manager. She was unavailable as well. As I stewed, I saw the baby present that had caused me this rage. Beside my baby’s present was a baby present for a friend and co-worker of mine who had only had her baby days before.
And this is where I lost it.
When the department staff asked if they could help me with anything, I fully expressed my feelings, thoughts, concerns, and quite embarrassingly said them in language not suitable for those 13 and under.
It didn’t take long for my actions to reach my manager. We discussed it and while she agreed with where I was coming from, we both agreed my tact was inexcusable. The “department at fault” manager also met with me to discuss the issue. I apologized for my actions, and she agreed that this was something her department would handle better in the future.
Moral of the story: While my concerns were valid, how I expressed them was not. Self awareness and emotional intelligence is such a key component to being a leader. Take the time to know who you are and what your triggers are. If you are a person like me that wears your heart on your sleeve and has a tough time holding back your emotions when you are upset, here are a couple of recommendations to support you:
- Use the 24-hour rule. Take the time (24 hours) to think about the situation before reacting.
- Go for a walk.
- Find a friend/coworker to talk to in a private location.
- Writing. Control your emotions by letting them spill out through your keyboard into a word document. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT put anything into an email!
In the words of the legendary Ice Cube: