I had a few excuses already popping into my head for why things didn't turn out better. My natural inclination is to find excuses or get defensive. But I didn't want to do that because at the end of the day, I knew I could have and should have done better.
How could I have let this happen? At some level I was afraid of showing my ignorance, I'm sure. But it was more than that...it was not accepting true ownership over a project that I was sharing with someone else. And, to some extent, not being a good team player.
Have you ever done that? Been co-presenting with someone and left something to the last minute? Or worked on a project that someone else leads, and you kind of falter along barely scraping by with your support work?
Communication is so important. I am great at it in so many areas in my life, but when it comes to establishing boundaries with some projects, I am often afraid of "stepping on toes" or "being a drag" on someone else. Therefore, I am not jumping at the chance to ask for more help or to taking control of projects that need me to provide guidance.
This is a confessional sort of post. Therapeutic. I would love to hear if any of you face these same situations. Do you find it hard to establish your place in a team project when you are not the leader? I like being in charge of a well-defined project, but have always (even all the way back in grade school science projects) done better when working alone.
Ironically, I never necessarily saw myself as a leader. I imagined myself in that position, but never thought I had the charisma to pull it off. Now, charisma is the least of my concerns...I just want to be a valuable team player and never let someone down again like I did today.
How can I prevent this from happening again?
- Being clear about the status of what I am working on
- Not shying away from difficult situations/conversations
- Admitting when I disagree with the way something is happening
- Just doing the boring backup stuff
- Communicating to the point of annoyance