A pal has been a supervisor at our local hardware store for 8 years. He recently shared a story about Eric, the new general manager — someone who’d never worked in a hardware store and was hired about 6 months ago.
Eric is a nice guy, but he doesn’t see how he’s causing himself to fail. It appears that Eric has a lot of confidence since he never asks anyone else for input. The result is a messy store, frustrated staff and irritated customers. His numbers are suffering as a result.
A wonderful way to spend a Sat. morning — I presented a very interactive workshop called “Influencing without Authority: Herding Cats with Tuna Not an Electric Prod” for the Silicon Valley Product Managers Assn. What a great group of smart, fun, nice people. They were very willing to try my various games with purpose (as one person dubbed them) and share the insights each spawned.
Here are two comments from the organizers:
“I have been managing workshops for the SVPMA for 10 years. The mark of a good workshop is that the participants are engaged and make connections — both with the other participants but more importantly with the information being provided. Rebecca’s workshops do just that. She introduces new information and provides insights. Then through hands-on exercises creates opportunities for people make their own connections and insights. I made a number of discoveries about my own communication style and team participation. It gave me a lot to think about and work on in terms of how I communicate in groups, teams and in my personal interactions. Well done Rebecca!” –Jamie O’Halloran, Program Chair
“You did a great job! Everyone was engaged, the insights were meaningful and I thought your comments were relevant PMs. Thank you so much for giving us your time and wisdom!” —Mayla Clark
We spent the morning in interactive exercises, then debriefing the insights and applicability on the job. Here’s a pic of part of the group doing one exercise.
I appreciate when people are positive and easy going. However, sometimes one can be too laid back and not take care of details when adopting an “It will all work out” attitude. Then stress — at the minimum — ensues, and sometimes chaos and failure.
Recently I worked on a project with Sam, who had a laid back attitude. For 12 years I had organized and managed an event which Sam was now going to run a similar event in a separate location. I had offered to help him set up and manage his event so he it would be easier for him to run it by himself the next time. He welcomed the help.
We’d touched base several times as the event neared, and he was open to my suggestions to ensuring the event would go smoothly. The week before I reminded him that we needed 5 tables and at least a dozen volunteers. He told me both were no problem.
Arriving at the event an hour ahead to help set up, there were 5 volunteers and 3 tables. When I asked if more tables were coming he said he’d make some calls and see if he could get more, but it he couldn’t, it would all work out.
What do you call someone who tells you that you have spinach in teeth?
Whether you’re an entrepreneur or corporate professional, you need to persuade people with your writing. Even if it’s enrolling folks to come to a meeting or assist in a project, you are writing sales copy.
Working recently with a client on her marketing materials, I said I didn’t understand what she provided her clients. She said she purposely made the description of her services nebulous as she didn’t want to give them too much information. She wanted to make the write-ups intriguing and have the reader asking for more details.
I said, “Intriguing is good. Confusion isn’t. These are confusing.”