The Fine Art of Inconveniencing People & Making Their Lives Miserable

“One can’t please everyone” – they say… and ruthless as it may sound,“the job has to get done”… It’s great to be a task-master, but eventually, it is one who has a way with words and dealing with people tactfully, who emerges the winner.

  • Consider this scenario:
  • Open office setting with multiple seating in one large hall
  • Last working day of a team member
  • Rest of the team preparing to huddle for a send-off party of sorts for a colleague, who has completed all exit formalities

One of the senior team members has been instrumental in hiring the replacement for this exiting employee, makes this statement loudly:

“Although the person who will replace you is much more competent than you, we will miss you”.

 *Pin-drop silence ensues in the hall*

It was a well-meaning comment, intended to make the exiting employee feel missed, and also to excitedly introduce the new joiner to the rest of the team. While the objective of the comment was far from making the former team-member feel miserable while bidding farewell to the organization, the effect was that the said person swore never to set foot in the office premises ever again. Not to mention the effect it had on the team members that heard the comment. A few tactful team members changed the topic quickly to shift the conversation towards friendly banter as everyone shuffled into the farewell party zone.

Blame it on a case of lack of emotional intelligence. The person that made the comment did not intend to hurt anyone but lack of self awareness and the inability to see the impact of one’s words turned a happy moment into a bitter one for all those around. If it can happen to team members, it is only a matter of time before an external customer is at the receiving end of words that are not carefully chosen and weighed before being uttered. The ramifications may not be as simple then. Instances of poor customer experiences,due to lack of empathy, spelling doom for reputed brands aboundand this is reason enough to invest in emotional intelligence sensitization for team members.