JJ's (August 2012) Tips in this issue:
1. Give Up Control to Get Control
Use the following tips as training tools.
Present this situation to your group and brainstorm solutions together, or submit your own situation question to be answered in an upcoming newsletter.
How can we get more control of difficult situations, especially when we are being criticized?
Life is full of difficult situations, both personally and professionally. It's not what happens to you but how you deal with that difficulty that matters.
One of my manager clients was recently criticized by her report for micromanaging. This new report was hired for her expertise and she was accusing her manager of shooting down every suggestion she made. When the manager heard this feedback she was shocked and hurt. Her perception of the situation was totally different.
The manager said she spent more time with this report than any other on her team. It seemed the new report needed her attention and didn't show confidence in proceeding without the managers constant input.
The manager took the criticism personally and was emotionally distressed which showed in her face and the tears she shed when she talked with me about it. The following day she had processed the situation in her mind and was ready to get control of it.
We discussed how she needed to be willing to give up control to get control. This was a new concept to her so she listened with an open mind.
We established that there was a difference in their perceptions, but those differences were their present realities.
Then we looked at the two personalities involved. The manager had needed to be micromanaged herself when she first started in the business. After a long period of hand holding by her mentor, she gained confidence to manage herself and eventually others.
The woman who reported to her was obviously lacking confidence to proceed on her own, and the manager assumed she needed more hand holding to grow into the position.
The manager was also aware that her report had lots of ongoing family problems that were taxing and they could be contributing to her lack of confidence. Past negative personal interactions can influence work attitudes and interactions. They can act as triggers or buttons that can be pushed by someone who happens to interact in the same negative way.
The manager needed to flex her managerial style (give up her control) and get in her reports shoes to get to the bottom of what the real issue was. When the manager sat down with her and listened to her thoughts and feelings, she discovered that her assumption had been wrong.
What her report needed was for her manager to trust that her suggestions for change were worth acting on and to grow her with praise and recognition. She was like a child wanting approval and confidence building from a parent.
When she saw her manager was going to act on one of her suggestions and give her a chance to be an important part of the team, her attitude and demeanor changed dramatically.
With every adversity, give up control at the moment to eventually get control. In other words, don't push back (with excuses) because you give up control to the other person when you do.
This also goes back to remembering that you can't change anyone else. You can only change yourself, but when you change yourself enough (thinking and actions), you have a better chance of influencing others in a positive direction. You don't personally lose anything in the process, you just gain new options to use when you need them.
"A bad attitude is like a flat tire. You can't go anywhere till you change it."
"The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant."
DO YOU WANT TO IMPROVE in an area? Service? Sales?
EVALUATION OF YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Have you had an Evaluation of Your Environment lately so you could receive suggestions on improving it? (It's like the doctor's check up, you often don't know you need it, until after you've had it.)
JJ Lauderbaugh, CMC
JJ works with companies that want to give exceptional customer service to increase sales,
and with Directors and Call Center/Help Desk Managers who want to improve human
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