Monday, March 2, 2015

Day 568 - Next phase: walking out of separation with a colleague pt1

The context of this series:

In earlier blog posts, I have written about my work situation where I managed to be moved from a research group A, which is headed by a notorious professor with strong bullying characteristics to another research group B. Because of this move, i am now in research group B but without immediate supervisor. Through the structural layout of the research groups and the faculty, my line manager is the dean. Since entering into research group B, there has been a strong marginalisation tendency going on which seems to be instigated by a small group of individuals - and mostly one individual from that group, Mr. F. The reasons are many and some are rather obvious, not at least because I’ve come from the research group with the feared professor. 

Since I have been in research group B, I had to walk through a few constructs such as: giving up on myself as my expectations for a better work environment were shattered, feeling sorry for myself because of the circumstances, seeing myself as the victim of the situation and dealing with fear of the future because I believed that was no longer building my career as a researcher. Looking back on the past seven months I managed to move myself out of these constructs and I also devised a plan in how to use the situation to benefit me so that I could grow and expand professionally. 

Now the situation has shifted because the dean has put me directly on one of the projects were I am collaborating with Mr. F. Therefore the moments of friction have been increasing. I see that I am posing a threat to him and that his reactions are strong, sometimes explosive. When he does not like something I say or do he tries to intimidate me. There is a need on his part to control me. I have been told that in the past he has displayed these behaviours with selective people and that they have eventually left the university.

In the past 7 months I have worked somewhat with my relationship to him as well. But only in situational cases because I had so minimal contact with him. Now there is certainly no more room to withdraw and avoid dealing with Mr. F, I have to take the situation head on. Even though I realise that he is reacting out of fear, I have been unable to stop my reactions and attitude towards him. In my mind, I am seeing myself as superior to him because of my work background and my experience. I realise that I have constructed this mindset to protect myself from his intimidation tactics. When he reacts to me I react to him in anger which I suppress but I will let him know how I see the situation. When looking at the previous years in how I would have reacted in a similar situation, it looks like I have gone from inferiority to superiority - the other end of the spectrum of polarisation. 

I would like to get to the stage where I can stand as his support and assist him, where I am no longer reacting in anger inside of myself. I want to be able to direct the situation without experiencing myself in separation to him because I take his behaviour personally. In short I want to walk out of the separation within this relationship. 


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