We had a situation during our last MBA trimester with one of our teacher. While I will not disclose the nature of the problem (you never know who reads your blog!), I wanted to share this experience with you on a career point of view. Too many times we shut our mouth, sacred by the cloud of “what if’s” spreading over our head. It is in our North American mentality to let people higher than us do whatever they please.
While our problem was not based on bad intention but more created from a lack of assiduity, the situation remains the same. Everybody was pissed (and I mean really pissed!) but nobody planned on doing anything about it. We are all very strong bitching at the cafeteria. One of my colleagues always says: “most topics are being discussed and debated at lunch time, but nothing had ever been solved in a cafeteria”.
Based on this premise, I decided to write an email to the program director. My first draft was obviously not meant to be read by anyone under 18. I decided to take a pause and have my wife taking out most of the emotion in my email. I wanted him to acknowledge that there was a problem, not that I am a psychotic freak 😉
I put my team members in CCC so they are fully aware of what I was doing. One of them called me asking if I would reconsider my email and recall it. He thought it would be pretty bad for my future marks during the program and that little ray of truth could turn back on me and burn me down.
Honestly, I really didn’t care. I took the time to send a well written email including facts without emotions. People can always discuss the tone of an email, but they can’t ignore facts. I was not going on war after anybody; I just wanted to make sure that this situation will not happen in this program ever. I even provided solutions.
My friend was right about one thing; the teacher got my email for sure. He sent back an email of apologies to the class providing solutions that was mentioned in my email to the director in order to make sure that the situation will not be reproduced.
At that point, I started to think that I was going to get burnt for my marks. I still didn’t care because I thought that what I did was right. But instead, I maintained a good relationship with the director and I finished with a really good grade in this specific class.
The point of this post is that too often, we shut our mouth thinking that if we speak out, we will get penalized and we will pay the price for the others. In fact, if you express yourself in a diligent way and you put apart your emotion, I think you will always be a winner and get even more respect from people with more authority.
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