In the past few weeks, I’ve “traveled” out of town twice: a short business trip and a longer vacation. And again I was reminded of my disabilities and their affect on what I do and how I do it. The take away message?
Gotta’ be clear with myself about what I can and can’t do or I’m just going to make a mess of things.
I remember taking a 3 mile hike in intense heat with my husband, Jake, in the Arizona Desert – our anniversary weekend 15 years ago– when I realized I couldn’t do it and couldn’t even make it back on my own. Yes, I said I wanted to hike that trail. No doubt, if I’d thought about it, I would have seen it wasn’t a good idea. But, I didn’t like thinking of myself as someone who couldn’t do certain things. So we both lost out. He had to walk back with me and didn’t get to hike that day. I didn’t get to hike and felt responsible for his loss also.
I’ve learned a bit since then. I’m better at asking myself what’s possible – and not expecting him to make that decision for me.
It’s the same stuff that comes up with your boss and your colleagues. Here’s one example. You have a meeting coming up with your boss about your next yearly deliverables. Over the past six months, you’ve had several acute flairs and needed time off from work. You missed several deadlines but always caught up. Your boss has been understanding but now you want to set expectations that you can meet. That’s a good plan.
But you’re worried that you’ll come across as unenthusiastic and disinterested if you lower the performance bar. You’ve always been the high energy person who outperforms everyone. The problem is that you’re so wrapped up in your own desires for yourself and your own disappointment that don’t have a clue what your boss actually thinks. That’s a problem.
Confused about what to do? Ask yourself:
- If your direct report doesn’t meet deliverables, how do you feel about that?
- What would you expect him to do about this?
- Which would you prefer – an enthusiastic employee who doesn’t get the job done or a realistic employee whom you can count on?
It’s easy to feel frustrated and deny that you can’t do some things because of chronic illness. To pretend you’re that other person – the person who is “healthy”.
What do you ignore? What do you do about it?
Rosalind aka cicoach.com