One month a few years ago, had been particularly taxing. I had been grappling with some work related issues for the past few weeks. A client refused to be held to the scope of a project I was initiating and insisted on a build-as we progress approach. In my attempt to get started well, I refused to proceed without a scope and thus we were locked in a diplomatic war of words. Since apparently no work was getting done, my manager stepped in. Now, this manager then not being the support-and-get-out-of-my-way kinds, made matters worse. I threw cautions to the wind, and I made the mistake of making this a personal matter. So much so that every step I took brought me closer to loosing it. Why was I letting myself be cornered into agreeing to something I knew was flawed right at the outset? All I could do was think of my team who hung on to my every word and was loyal to the core. I could not understand what ailed me...why was I practicing this kind of brinkmanship? This was definitely the riskiest approaches in the scenario, since my worth is entirely driven by how much my team manages to deliver.
Before I could reach a stage where enough was enough, I took a breather. I pushed away everything for a couple of days, went into a no-response mode. I sat in Holmes like concentration running everything through my head, info-byte by info-byte. In that state of mind I actually distanced myself from the situation at the workplace. I had made this too personal, involved my id and ego in it. I had to snip the tethers, let the ship stray from the port. To cut the long story short, I realised that if I am composed enough, I can help how I perceive the most hard nosed and dull headed clients. I can strategise, anticipate and lay traps (wicked, wicked) to make things work my way. During this whole time saying as little as possible helps. The virtues of a meaningful silence can be found in every alternate wave in the sea of self help guides and books. Except for rare life or death situations NOTHING is as important as it first seems except you and your priorities. Deep down I knew I was right in asking for what I was asking and this state of mind helped me be doubly sure:). I am sure there is a name and a discovery attached to this state I had stumbled upon. Its ok, I am not eager to find out.
For no other thing but this, I have that ass of a client and an interfering manager to thank. And for inspiring this this post I have A's post to thank. :)