Friday, October 2, 2009

Social Intelligence

I had my first minor clash with
a contractor here. It’s a difficult situation because the company is reducing staff so they are a bit pressured. Not really a blow out but an exchange of defensive emails. I don’t know if this is the proper thing to do here because emails are often exchanged back in Asia which is often nasty and harsh. But I think I am trying to uphold a principle. From my point of view, shared by other folks, is that most of the business knowledge lies with the contractor. I think now is the time to re-assert the company’s knowledge and authority. So I think I am acting out of a principle.

It’s a delicate situation and I am glad we are able to handle it in a manner that is civil. My boss handled it very well and I was also able to control my offensive reactions. I often turn people off and I remember the times I had in the past where I have made some enemies. I have often been accused of being in my own world perhaps but it’s actually my own perception. I think I may be abrasive or brusque to other people and may even come of as arrogant and aloof. I am afraid that I see it in my youngest son as well. I guess I lack emotional or social intelligence to keep everyone on an even keel. I need to develop the grace to keep everyone in a good mode.

I am under pressure to finish the functional design document. But I accept this pressure because I think I need to prove myself. This is a country where you have to fight to have a seat at the table. I am also trying to fill up very big shoes because the analyst before is quite good who is treated with deep respect. On the other hand, I am the brash upstart who is trying to upset everyone’s apple cart.
But I think I have paid my dues and I should be given the appropriate respect. After all, I have been working with the company for nearly 15 years although I have been here in this country for only more than 6 months.

So I have to complete the document as well as observe the social graces to keep everyone happy. It is a bit difficult because there is a real threat where people will lose their jobs. So it will be painful and I maybe a symbol of the threat because I am the new guy around. So I maybe the focus of disenchantment and abuse. I guess I have to curb my attitude of being a know-it-all or smarty pants. Sometimes I can’t help it because I feel I have to be vocal and prove myself. So I guess I have to find a balance and I think my strategy is to hunker down, keep my head low and focus on the work and deliver what I can. I also need to be honest and express that I do need help and will not produce an excellent document being just new on the job.

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