Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Defensive

Is it really difficult to accept our mistakes? Does it mean, we are letting ourselves down? Does it hurt our ego so much? Does it lower our self-esteem? What, if the mistakes are hampering the people around us?

Being the Project Lead of three teams is not that easy, especially when all the team members are young, fresh, straight out of college. They are energetic, ready to learn but one thing common that I noticed in all of them: Defensive. Not ready to accept their mistakes or rectify them. We all are human beings and none is perfect. But the point is that we accept the mistakes and rectify them, rather than trying to defend it or hide it or cover it. I have noticed this particular trait in quite a few people here.

You give them the feedback and they take it against them. It seems to hurt their ego that they are being corrected. We, managers, attend sessions on Building Manager's Effectiveness wherein we are taught, among other things: How to give feedback to associates. But here, it seems, even after applying it, associates are not ready for it. The mistakes hamper the work, quality, client satisfaction, our deliverables. But the youngsters are simply not ready for change. It seems they think: Whatever they do, is right. Try giving the feedback, and they will build stories around it, as to why it happened, which will be a very vague one... They will keep on arguing to the level, where you will think, I am talking to a fool... They are simply not ready to understand, improve. They take is against them personally. Last option left is to document these instances in the performance plan, to make them understand the seriousness of the issue. The whole attitude is: Its ok. How does it matter!!!

They are fearless, confident, immature, egoistic and ready to take the risks. I know all these qualities sound so contradicting to each other but yes, they are present in these youngsters. While some of them are good to have, I wonder what about the rest. Why cant the mistakes be accepted and worked upon? The question still persists!!

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