In 2016, I was working from home for a period of close to 1 year due to personal reasons.

During that time, I was training one of my colleagues on the task I was handling.

As I was working from a remote location, the training was done over video conferencing.

The colleague was senior to me in the organization as well as the department.

As the training progressed, I found that person to be lacking in concentration.

He was not able to grasp things and I started losing my patience.

Since the work was very critical and client impacting, I used to scold him often.

Though I felt bad at times, there was no other option as I didn’t want the work to be affected.

As days went by, a rapport developed and we started discussing personal matters as well.

One day he told me about his tragic family life that left me apologetic.

His wife had some mental disorder and he was heading towards a divorce.

The situation was so worse that she used to thrash and abuse him in front of their son.

She was not in good terms with his parents as well.

Due to these personal problems, he was quite upset and was not able to concentrate on his work.

On hearing this matter, I felt really bad and apologized for my behavior towards him in the past.

The 5 unforgettable lessons that I learned from this personal experience were.

1. If you encounter any unpleasant situations with your colleagues, try to speak to them openly in the initial stages.

2. Unless and until you open up, the situations will get worse day by day.

3. Try to sort things out quickly as it’s pointless to regret later.

4. Though I have heard about the importance of empathy many times before, I had to go through a really bad personal experience to realize that.

5. There is no better master than your real experience. No management books can replace the real-life experience that you go through in your personal life.

Have you ever gone through a similar bad experience in your professional life?