How often do you witness the classic case of “Pot calling the kettle black” in your workplace?
Once upon a time, two colleagues, Devendra and Sam, worked in the same team.
Devendra had 15 years of experience, and Sam had 5.
Devendra and Sam were amongst the top professionals on the team, and they were so good that other team members wanted to become like them.
Devendra was known for pointing out every mistake made by others but never acknowledged his own shortcomings. Devendra had insecurities.
Sam made mistakes but was diligent and ready to accept feedback and improve. Sam had ambitions.
One day, during a team meeting, Devendra publicly criticized Sam for a factual error in his presentation. Everyone in the room felt that the pot was calling the kettle black!
The team meeting was led by a senior person who operates life in a state of progression. Progression is the state where manufacturing of the purpose is possible!
The senior person told them a story. That story is unimportant, but Devendra marked that even though he was a senior professional, his overly emotional state and insecurities about life hindered his personal growth and dis-served his team and his family, which greatly matters to him.
In the meeting, Sam accepted the feedback gracefully and assured everyone that while he missed paying attention to details, he would ensure it didn’t happen again.
Then, for the first time, after getting inspired by the story, he chose to speak the truth and underlined a missed point in Devendra’s report. He also made a point that the missed point can be addressed in a certain way by giving a relevant example.
For the first time, he didn’t think that because Devendra is senior, he should not point out things that must be fixed for the greater good of everyone.
And, for the first time, instead of taking things personally and being defensive, Devendra reflected and realized his own hypocrisy.
While Devendra was great at pointing fingers at others’ work, his work had flaws: he was not able to work on his own, always needed an assistant, his focus was always on the insecurities of his future, so he could not pay attention to necessary things and he had a habit of making many irrelevant conclusions based on the stories he told to himself about what might have been the situation!
When Devendra realized his shortcomings, suddenly, something shifted within him.
Many times, just the practice does not make a man perfect; the realization of truth does!
From that day on, Devendra and Sam started focusing on personal growth, understanding that constructive feedback is a valuable tool for learning and improvement.
They became more self-aware and started leading by example, and other team members also got uplifted by observing them.
Everyone on the team realized that feedback should not be considered good or bad. The feedback itself is neither good nor bad. The way an individual takes the feedback gives constructive or destructive emotions.
Destructive emotions spoil the culture; constructive emotions strengthen it.
- It is easy for the pot to call the kettle black – but it is hypocritic, and everyone knows it.
- Most of us choose to blame others, but it is essential to recognize our own flows first and work toward self-improvement.
- To create a culture of growth and collaboration in the workplace, introspection and humility are super helpful.
- Feedback is neither good nor bad. It is a tool for self-effectiveness.
For Devendras and Sams of the world, and for you and I, embracing self-awareness and enabling open and truthful feedback is possible.
When we speak and listen to the truth without taking things personally or assuming, we foster an environment of continuous improvement and become impactful professionals.
→ It pays off greatly to consciously become an impactful professional. Taking feedback constructively and listening to and speaking the truth makes an individual impactful.