Know the Story Others Tell About You
How you perceive yourself is one version of your story. But that isn’t necessarily the story your co-workers or partners would tell. How are you understood? What is your formal authority? What is your informal authority? Are you considered an expert on certain issues? What is your reputation? What is the interpretation from others about your past performance and involvement? “When you put yourself out there, people will come at you personally, with both praise and pushback. But you are neither saint nor sinner: It is not about you. People react to your role. When a community or team is facing a tough situation, emotions run wild, and some of them will get directed at you.” Taking them personally won’t get you anywhere. Learn to distinguish what is your stuff you need to work on in the stories others tell about you, and what is their stuff.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- What are others saying about you? How do you know?
- Describe your role in your case from the point of view of a trusted colleague.
- Describe your role in your case from the point of view of your biggest opponent.
 O’Malley, E., & Cebula, A. (2015). Your leadership edge: Lead anytime, anywhere. Kansas Leadership Center Press.