I did so because a) I don’t want to battle in a shouting match, and b) I would have lost anyway. Simultaneously, by deciding not to engage, I switch from a passive to an active role. If he wanted to continue the discussion, he had to come to me. In fact, 15 minutes later, he did and apologized and told me what I already suspected: His outrage had nothing to do with me but other factors.
The experience didn’t only teach me a lesson but also formed respect for this senior person. It takes some bravery to admit mistakes. In hindsight, I could have handled the situation even better by decisively voicing that I don’t engage in this kind of tone.
So my advice is to don’t communicate unprofessionally and explicitly clarify how you want to be treated. Also, block some time to reflect. I force myself to do so by publicly blogging
, and yes, this newsletter is also kind of a reflection.