A Bad Day for Communication

A Bad Day for Communication

Demetria arrived at the meeting just in time for Norton to ask her to tell the group her opinion of the proposed software.

Assaulted at once by conflicting thoughts and ideas, and aware of the political implications of her answer, Demetria muttered unconvincingly in one direction, then switched to another thought, until she was thanked for her efforts and allowed to stop talking.

“I hate having to speak on the spot,” she thought.  ‘I’m never ready or sure of what to say.”

From the meeting, Demetria fled to her office where Opal greeted her with a request to take her place on a lengthy phone consult as she needed to pop out for a few minutes.

Feeling behind on her own work and annoyed at the imposition, Demetria tried to think of a reason to say no, and failing to come up something that she felt was convincing enough, ended up agreeing.

Demetria scolded herself for being such a pushover and not even trying to assert herself.  She was pretty sure it was okay to say no, but she didn’t know quite how to do so without upsetting Opal.

Finally able to start on a project with a looming deadline she realized that she wasn’t going to finish in time.  Of course her boss called within minutes for an update.  Giving bad news was never easy for Demetria, but she was sure there was a better way than the blustering, sniveling, hesitant, incoherent rambling she offered.  At the end of the conversation she was exhausted and decided to slip out for a cup of coffee.

“Just who I wanted to see!” shouted Armand as Demetria left her desk. “I need you to tell me how you liked my report!”

Armand’s report was so dreadful that Demetria had been hoping that the supervisor would deal with it before Armand asked Demetria for help.

Begging a time crunch, and knowing that she couldn’t manage giving feedback unless it was positive,  Demetria escaped to the break room, only to find three colleagues in a tense discussion of a recent policy change.  She was immediately asked to state her position and to align herself with one or the other of her colleagues.

“So awkward!” Demetria thought. “Another sticky situation for me to dodge.”

She pretended she was looking for someone and rushed out of the room.


Demetria could use this eBook from Language at Work:

“Quick Guide to Managing Difficult Communication Situations.”

Maybe you know someone who does, too?

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