I always thought myself as the purest soul. Do good, do things wisely and speak correctly with good intention. Be a good and respected boss. That way, you will not invite gossip from friends, colleagues and subordinates. I am momentarily happy whenever people gave compliments and sad when being the target of gossip. 

Today, I was awakened when I realized how naive I was as I listened to feedback from an angry subordinate. Angry at how I had questioned him about his work. Nope nope, I had meant well with good advice. I hope the advice given to him could helped to improve and add value to his work. Instead, he got upset over my style of questioning and gradually anger overwhelms him. It refreshes the idea of “one man’s meat is another man’s poison”. It was one of those days!

Then all his thoughts about who I was came pouring out. Things that happened a moment ago came pouring out. Things that happened a week  ago came pouring out. Things that had happened months ago (I really have forgotten) also came pouring out. Really, it was not so nice to put in words. You got what I mean. I had thought I was an angel but I was painted to be a devil. He really brought me down to earth. After that session, I took a good look in the mirror.  mm…not a bit like the devil…certainly not the purest soul, more like a lost soul:=)

I concluded after the “trashing”, that no matter how hard we try to advise people on improvements, your good intention could be mistaken as being too critical. The well planned, well intended and well meaning feedback could be twisted in his mind and provided the fuel for downstream gossip as he and his colleagues gathers at coffee house, MRT station or canteen.

Oh yes, by the way, at the end of his triumphant tone in the middle of the onslaught of @$%@$% words, he suddenly realized that he was shaking with anger and I .. was actually waiting for him to get over with his anger. I had listened! Intently but without any hint of being upset (don’t assume I’m not)! His face was flushed like being burnt with a heated flame. Then just as suddenly a realization hit him, he said, “How can you be so cool and calm?”. After a moment, I replied: “I’m not cool, I’m normal, you’re hot!” Ten minutes later, he walked out of my office mumbling how sorry he was as he realized that he was not himself and speaking to his boss. He has avoided me for the remaining hours. mm…I’ve failed to relieve him of his suffering then…how to patch up and relieve him of his guilt? As I ponder on, I remembered that it must have been one of those days.