Boss’s Reaction When He Noticed Her Crying In The Meeting.
I work in a male dominated industry. I was in a meeting and was being pushed to provide something for a client that I didn’t feel was possible given the time and tools I have been provided. I have been trying every method I can think of for the past year to try and get better tools that I know would benefit the entire company. Today in a meeting with the VP of my company, my frustration reached a boiling point. I argued my points as strongly as I could. And then I cried. Thank goodness for my mask, because it was a full on snot-dripping, body-shaking, can’t-speak cry. I excused myself for a couple of minutes to try and pull myself together and went back to finish the meeting.
My VP suggested we have a chat afterwards. I tried to mentally prepare not to cry during the lecture I was sure was to follow. I was scared to hear that I was “just upset”. Afraid I had just lost the credibility I have worked so hard to earn. I was feeling embarrassed and worried about all the things he could possibly now think of me and my weakness and my poor work and my craziness and lack of professionalism and, and, and…
…And he thanked me for my passion. He took time to point out all of the good work I’ve done on the project, using specific examples. He apologized for “not having listened loud enough” to what I’ve been saying. He talked through the issues that built up to this point with me. More importantly, he asked me to walk him through them while he listened and responded and calmly waited for me when I had to take moments to pause and breathe. He cancelled his next meeting to give me this time. He spoke to how much he appreciates and sees how much I care. We discussed the importance of my long term well-being versus this one project. He commented on the support and strength I’ve shown in my role. We worked through a solution to present to the client and he committed to moving some of the other items forward with the other VPs and Pres.
I wanted to share. Because I hate crying in front of people. I especially hate crying in front of work people. In a male dominated industry, my fear of crying and no longer being taken seriously is amplified. But today I got to see how things are changing, shifting, progressing in my industry. Today I was given a reason not to be so afraid of myself. Today my VP saw me cry and didn’t think any less of me, instead I was given a reminder to celebrate my passion, whatever form it takes.
Next time you feel ashamed of your tears, I hope you can remind yourself that it comes from a place of passion, of strength. Crying does not equal weakness.