Today I had a major lesson in knowing how to be tactful when working on a project with a senior-level person. So, to give you some background details, I am finally FINALLY getting work from the creative department at work and one of the senior copywriters will bring me in on projects.
This is one of the second ones I’ve worked on with them and I was somewhat familiar with the details of the project (it was based on web searches, and SEO stuff which I’ve gotten familiar with thanks to blogging). Well, once I got the directive from this copywriter on this, I immediately knew they had misunderstood the directions.
Assuming maybe I misunderstood their misunderstanding, I went ahead with the project with the details I knew to be correct. You see, for this project it was creating a meta-description (which basically is the search description that comes up when you Google something) and they had confused THAT with the paid ad search that comes up when you Google something.
To avoid boring you with the nitty gritty details, once I shared my work in progress, basically they started correcting me on my approach on this. That’s when I began to gently point out the difference in the two different Google searches. One is paid. one is not. Mostly the argument was over word count and they didn’t want me to be as long winded as I was (and I knew you could at least use a certain number of characters before Google truncated your description).
Okay, nitty gritty, sorry.
So, I gently, but firmly stayed on my point. They brought in another person who was more of an expert who explained in detail the difference between a paid search and search result information that comes up naturally. Lo and behold, they said the exact same thing I did.
I feel so mature for handling this in this way. In the past, I may have just followed this senior person’s direction in hopes someone else will point out the error. But I knew my information and I knew it was right.
The key lesson here is there is always a way to teach someone else and share information. No matter what level a person is in a company, it doesn’t mean they are always right because of their status. It also doesn’t mean that you’re automatically wrong if you are at an entry level status. We all have something we can learn.
As for my project, I may not have received a big banner “you are correct!” but I at least got them to admit they “misguided me.” It’s something at least.