For those that know me, I am a person who is outspoken and speaks his mind. It is a part of my personality and people in time come to appreciate my ethics and integrity. However, I should be careful with my outspokenness as it also has gotten me in trouble several times.
One example happened yesterday. A colleague came to enquire about a previous member of my team. She wanted to know my perception of her. Well, this team member was the weakest link in our department. She was a person who was argumentative, would not admit any mistakes, and thought the whole world was out to get her. She had left the company over 5 months ago and nobody misses her as she singlehandedly managed to alienate everybody.
From the above, her biggest downfall is her negative attitude. That is something that destroys people and their careers. It haunts them and will continue to do so. The single best advice to people is to enhance their attitude. It can go a long way to furthering their careers and making them achieve success. But that is a long topic which I will tackle in another post.
Anyway, she (as we all do) spiced up her CV apparently taking credit for a lot of projects done within the company. Based upon that, she was hired by another company and has just started with them. However, it seems that her line manager is surprised by her inability to handle simple assignments based upon her claims. Thus, her management at the company are worried about her (and since she is still on probation) have started to closely examine the details of her CV. Thus, her line manager contacted her friend at our company and that person came to ask me about her.
Well, I told the truth and did not attempt to blemish it. Although I did state that I would not want to cut a person's livelihood, but that this lady is a hopeless case. This was not my personal opinion, although I did suffer tremendously with her under my tutelage, but a consensus of all those that interacted with her. After all, she received a dismal performance rating from me after the year under my supervision. After that, she was transfered to be managed by another person who also had trouble with her where it reached an ultimatimum; either the manager stays or this lady but not both.
The morale of this story is the following:
1) Try and leave a company on good terms no matter what the circumstances are. After all, you never know when you will need the support of people.
2) Utilize the mistakes to learn from them and never repeat them.
3) When people request information from you, better to stay neutral and let them handle it themselves. After all, they are the ones who hired her and thus, they need to make the final decision of whether to retain her or not.
4) I will need to tone down my outspokeness. After all, who am I to judge others?