Thursday, 14 June 2012

Know your lessons learnt...

Here is a scenario... You are a junior at your company; you get assigned to a role and a team with a manager. You are relatively new to the organisation and you have not yet come to understand their ways of working or how they deal with clients.

You then find yourself in a situation where you are to represent the interests of the entire team as the only attendee in a meeting. The client starts to bombard you with requests and you are so nervous that you are afraid you will miss some of those actions you have been instructed to do and you try your hand at using short hand and picking out keywords, hoping to trigger your memory later on and update your notes.

You need to provide feedback to the team and your manager does not seem to have time to discuss anything with you and help you make sense of things. Basically... you are left to your own devises. Trying to decipher your notes becomes a scientific matter and you realise that so many things were said that you should have asked clarity on but they had moved through so many of them so fast that you could not have managed had you even asked clarity on just one of them.

How do you deal with such a situation?

Sadly, there is no foolproof method for surviving situations like this. Before you even come out of the other side of it, you will probably have had sleepless nights, lost your hair due to stress and maybe even had a breakdown.

They call it 'throwing you in the deep end' but it' more like feeding you to the wolves and laughing about it when they discover that said wolves did not devour you whole but left some pieces of you for them to scavenge on.

First thing you do when you get to the meeting is suppress your nerves and introduce yourself. State as clearly as you can your role, if you know it, and how much of the situation you understand, if any. You will find that clients appreciate honesty and they will either make the decision to reschedule the meeting or go out of their way to make sure you understand.

If the meeting was carried out anyway, ask to compare the notes of other attendees with your own and you might discover that they also took little to nothing at the meeting, or you hit gold and they have notes that make more sense that your gibberish. That way you are able to save face with your manager and look impressive in the process.

The only advice I can give, which I came to in retrospect, having survived these situations is that you can use it to boost your interview and cite it as a way you dealt with a difficult situation. It is also a lesson for you on what not to do when you become a manager.

Peace be with you and thanks for reading.