Meeting The Most Hated Person

A difficult conversation you have been dreading will go a lot better than expected today — it turns out that other people have been whispering in this person’s ear and have been warning her or him about the thing you have been wanting to talk about. So this person is ready to talk to you, and ready to work with you. There is going to be a great deal of positive collaboration in this day overall. Every idea will lead to another, more exciting idea. Keep going!” – Sagittarius Horoscope, June 19, 2007.

Working in a company that is (or was?) known for being a great place to work, it is surprising to know that there is one person that stands out as the most hated. He’s known as SH. And I’ve been thinking, the acronym happens to mean : So Hated(?). Well that was what it really seems to be, until the day I met him.

On June 19, I was one of those privileged (or doomed they say) employees to meet SH for a forum. The moment I learned he’ll be on the “hot seat” for this meeting, I had mixed feelings of eagerness and anxiety to be in it. Since he joined our company a couple of years ago, this person had created so much confusion and fear in most of the meetings he’s been into. Ask any person and more often than not, you’ll hear bad comments about him. This meeting will be my chance to meet him up front.

The time came. Upon his arrival in the room, everyone seems to tense up a bit as he started calling the names of those present – getting to know the enemy, I presume.

I was the first one to shoot the question as others are starting to gauge the atmosphere of the meeting. Some are probably composing their statements, as it would have to be in English (easiest of the tasks at hand) –  SH is an expat.

For a first time meeting and to say the first question and phrase, “…I’ve heard terrible things about you…What do you think is the morale of the people working with you…” seems to have been shocking if not improper. But it had to be done. It had to be asked.

Almost without blinking an eye, he seems to have anticipated that a question such as this will come up. I guess he just knew he’s one hated man indeed. I won’t elaborate on his answers but I know he did well. It was direct, convincing and rational. He explained his side well on his strong policies and management style. He mentioned that the very least thing on his list of working as a manager is to be a pleasant and popular person. He’s one of the strong leaders, I can see. I look up to these kind of individuals.

After the meeting all 11 attendees – including myself –  seems to be a convert. All seems to have been enlightened. He’ll need to talk to 3000 more. Hopefully he can turn the tides for the company. But that’s another story.

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