I recently found myself in a situation where I felt I had acted in the best interest of a group, but received criticism because a few did not feel as if they were properly informed and did not give permission. It was a little bit baffling as the specific thing was something I had been asked to do. I had actually taken the initially idea and expanded it to apply to all parts of the organization, rather than just 1 or 2. As I went down the path of explaining my decision, first as simply as stating who made the original request to diving into more detail about the progression of the conversation, I saw that it could very easily go down the path of finger pointing and justification. I chose not to follow the path.
I realized as I was reading the longer, more elaborate explanations for why I was “out of line” that I was getting frustrated with the email strings. At that moment I chose to step back and not respond. While I did feel that the people who were involved in the initial conversations should have stepped up and participated in the conversation given that they were there to support both parties. That did not happen. However, I did use that time to take a step back and think about the situation. I realized that the best course of action was just not to respond. The other party’s piece was said and I had responded with all I had to give, which was really what my intent had been all along.
I had never before interacted with the person who engaged me in this conversation. I do not know if she was having a bad day. I do not understand the pressures of her position in the group or even if this was a first grievance of this nature or if I was just the last straw of frustration. There was nothing gained by me to continue the conversation. I could only deliver on what I had set out to deliver. So I walked away.