Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Adult Tantrums and a Biblical solution.

It appears that I have experienced first hand what an adult tantrum is. A work colleague came into my area, and when changes he wanted to make weren't unanimously agreed upon, he threw an adult tanty (tantrum), when he wanted to make changes to processes, but weren't seen as productive he danced his adult tanty, and it soon came to knowledge that this particular person had a history of moving and maneuvering by.........yeap you guessed it.....performing his adult tanty.Now what does the adult tanty look like. Basically,he'd do the silent treatment, make sarcastic remarks, and randomly drop a sad sob story much like desperate contestants  auditioning on the reality talent show Idol.

Yeah, that about encapsulates it. From what I observed this person had come to the area with an agenda, not a hidden agenda, and agenda that he was happy to share with everyone else. Not only that, he saw fit that things needed to be changed in the work area. And furthermore, he believed he should have more responsibilities as his skills were up to speed. After three months in realising that his agenda items were not being crossed off his list, he began to cross channels and going beyond the lines of command that were already set in place. And then, from what we were told by the powers to be, the waterworks, and the sob stories were flying left right and centre. This here, would have to be the adult tantrum.

Well rather than deal with the situation between boss and employee, the powers-that-be, moved him yet again to another area. Now you're probably wondering, why does it work so easy for him? The theory is, it is because he falls in a delicate group, you know the group that we refer to as the "minority", and are recruited to make the workplace look like an "Equal Opportunity" organisation? Yeah he fit right into that category. But even so, even if it was walking on eggshells isn't it worth doing for the sake of affected employees, and more importantly for the character building of the individual in question?

Because it is neglected, this action (or lack thereof) sends out a skewed message on how to deal with sticky situations? Between one human and another, whether politically correct or otherwise, surely there a lines that can still be adhered to without having to fear assumed implications. The message this sends out is if you want to get places.....chuck a fit. Incredibly unfortunate for the workers who complete the necessary courses, fill out the correct application forms, and did the hard yards in tertiary studies. It seems they could've just done drama classes and reenact scenes from "one flew over the cuckoos nest"

Seriously though, there a tactful ways of approaching discipline and correction. And for mine I believe the best advice can be found in the Bible, one such advice is the following: Matthew 28:15-18 “If your brother or sister sins,go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

That seems pretty straight forward, and not only that it is fair. There are other counsels too, but the one above stands out the most for me.

With the youth group I'm involved with, one such situation arose. Dealt with quickly, this particular youth member handled the correction very maturely, in fact much better than most adults that have been put on the same situation. Commonly but not always (thankfully) when the adult is approached, the approacher(s) are quickly labelled "self-righteous" and the individual sees themselves out, (adult tantrum) not considering that the whole purpose was to win them back.

I too was in a sticky situation where I urgently needed to move work areas. And apparently I fall into the delicate category also (I am delicate though) seeing as I am of Pacific Island origin. More than one work colleague (even one in a position of authority) said to play my "Ace of Spades" (I couldn't stop cracking up when hearing this term). The suggestions were humbly declined, and I said I'd leave it in God's hands. Slowly but eventually things worked out. No need for a tanty and no need to be disciplined. But if you're an adult, honestly.......you need broad shoulders and thick hides, life's too short to be offended.

Post a comment if you've had a similar experience. Hopefully you had a positive outcome.



p.s: Ace of Spades is a term to play the "race" card. In other words, use my Pacific Island background as a minority to acquire fair treatment..