Confrontations are not my cup of tea. I’d rather walk away even if it would look as if I was the bad one. Perhaps this is my own brand of selfishness. Or is it an internal mechanism to regulate pain given that I’ve a very low threshold of it?
This behavior spills over into my professional life. Like when as part of our itinerary a former colleague and I along with the research team made a courtesy call on a Mayor. We were ushered into his office which was already filled with members of the LGU team. My former colleague and I took the seats across the Mayor’s table while the rest congregated around us. Being the team leader, I did the introductions on our side. Done, I proceeded to brief the Mayor of our work.
As the Mayor and I were talking, I suddenly became aware of several pairs of eyes on me. I got distracted. Next thing I knew my colleague, who calls himself an activist, had taken advantage of the gap in our talk and lectured the Mayor to reach out to the poor more. The Mayor looked at me like he was asking to be rescued. I became uncomfortable. Should I stop my colleague or let the Mayor have it because anyway the lecture contained truths? Finally, I heeded my gut feel. It was not the right time for lectures. So I interrupted my colleague.
If this occurred in my personal life, I would’ve left the room and the parties to settle however they like the issue settled. I’m hands off. In the workplace, it is required that one do not run away from challenges or from making a stand. The skill goes by the name, conflict management.