I had an all too familiar situation in the workplace. I was new to the job and my co-worker took an optional opportunity for work travel before I was properly trained.
I had a problem with this, but I didn’t want this issue to be viewed as a “cat fight” in my organization. We as women are not cats, but this is the type of jargon that is used for the situation I wanted to avoid.
We did not have a large number of women in the organization and she was not the type of woman that understood we could both do well if we worked together and supported each other in our projects. She left me with a difficult multi-million dollar project and she had not given me a fair turn-over.
Her decision to do optional work travel before an important meeting with the General wasn’t logical to me. It seemed very irresponsible. I pushed passed what is natural for my personality type. I handled the matter very softly/lightly. This project was to be presented to our General. I worked nights and weekends to prepare. I knew my competence could be in question if the presentation didn’t go well.
So, how did I handle it?
I included my boss in my preparation. I obtained metrics for excellence for the project. I wanted to know what areas were of key interest to the General. I requested my organizations strategy plan and obtained the questions & concerns the General had in the past. I smartly figured out a way to involve several “key players” in my organization. Ultimately, I cultivated a great working relationship with my boss and made a few new friends.
I survived the presentation to the General & didn’t create a cat fight.