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Dealing with Authority/Inspectors Episode 74

Dealing with authority or inspectors is not something that we always like to do.  When we are dealing with someone in authority we can feel intimidated or feel like they are out to get us. When dealing with those in authority we need to show them respect.  You do not have to like or even respect that person, but you still need to know how to deal with that inspector or boss.  You may disagree with something that they are requiring you to fix, but you still have to abide by their authority in most cases.

How do we deal with those in authority that we do not like?           Sometimes those in authority cost you time, money, or they may have embarrassed you by calling you out in public about something you did, or you just do not like them.  How do you deal with this type of person?            

The first thing we all need to remember is that everyone has a boss.  We all have someone we need to report to; to be accountable to.  Some may say that they work on their own so they do not have a boss; but this is not true for their client or customer is their boss.  The customer may decide not to pay because they were not satisfied with the job.  Bottom line is that none of us like to be corrected or called out and told that we did something wrong.  We do not like to be embarrassed or talked down to.  There are good bosses and bad bosses.  There are good inspectors and bad inspectors.  How you react to each is a choice that you make.  Never let a bad inspector or leader force you to make a bad decision.  Once you make that bad decision that bad leader or inspector has control over you and your life.

You do not have to like the person that is in authority over you, but you do have to respect their position.  You do not always have to respect the person, because a person needs to earn that respect.  If you want to be a better person or leader realize that you can learn more from a bad leader or inspector in regards to how you should deal with authority then you can from a good leader.

I have heard people say “I have no respect for that inspector or leader.  Every time I have to deal with him my whole day is messed up.”   In this case you are allowing someone that you are forced to interact with influence your actions and ruin your day.

The person in authority deserves you to respect their position.  They are in that position to give you direction, to provide you with information, or simply to pass or fail your installation.  They are responsible for keeping you and others safe on the job, or teaching you how to perform a task.  You need to respect their position, but not necessarily the person.  They need to earn that respect.

When I say respect the position; it simply means to allow that person, which may not have a very good way of dealing with people, a little more room to save face.  Why should I give a person I do not like room to save face?  All of us have a need to feel important this was discussed on Episode 63.

How do you deal with these people who are giving you a hard time?

The first thing you need to do is to diffuse the situation.  Do not make something bigger out of it than it really was.  Be a listener more than a reactor.

Ask yourself:

            Is this person asking you to work in unsafe conditions?

            Is this person asking you to do something morally wrong?

            Is this person asking you to do something that might hurt you or your family?

            Is this person asking you to do something that might ruin your reputation?

If the answer is “no”, then do not take the stress from that person in authority.  Maybe he is caring something bad in his life.  Do not let him put that heavy load on you.  Just break down and do what needs to be done to satisfy the situation and move on.  Dealing with people can be tough because everyone has a different opinion on everything. But it is not up to us to force someone to make a choice to do something they do not want to do.

What if the answer is “yes” to the questions above, then how do you diffuse the situation?

One of the ways to diffuse the situation is to agree to disagree.  If you are told to do something that is unsafe, do not lose your cool, but back up your reason for your position with facts.  An inspector can not make you do something just based on their opinion of whether they like you or not.  They have a set of guidelines that they need to follow also. 

If an issue can not be solved this way, you can take the issue to someone above and explain your position, again with facts.  Remember, everyone has a boss.  It is not worth the time or headache of losing your cool over this one incident.  We all make our own choices and sometimes due to someone else’s actions we allow somebody else to make the choice for us by losing our cool.  If somebody else can cause you to feel bad and get you angry then believe it or not they are actually in control of you.  But you are the one who is going to pay the consequences for losing control.  If you get angry with an inspector, your job is not going to get passed.  If you get angry at your boss, then you could get fired. 

There are ways to handle the situation without losing control.  You can agree to disagree.  Give the facts of why you think that this is against code, why you think it is unsafe or why you feel uncomfortable telling a lie.  You may have to take the situation to HR, but there are better ways of dealing and not losing control. 

A confrontation today may affect a promotion that you were going to get tomorrow.  You can only make choices based on what you do.  Do not let other people force you into a bad situation.  When people are in a bad mood they love to suck as many people as they can down that rabbit hole.  This gives them the fuel for their fire as they live in their negative world.  There are people out there that look happy, but they are not or that look like they have it all together and they really do not.  Our slogan here at Surging Forward is to Create a Positive You in a Negative World.  We are here to help one person at a time. 

Only you can make a choice about your life.  It does not mean that you are always happy, because sometimes life just does not go right, but you can help create a positive situation just by diffusing a negative situation.  Keep Surging Forward!

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