When I was young, I saw the movie “The Ten Commandments”. (Stop counting.) One of my favorite lines was from Yule Brenner, who played the Pharaoh…” So let it be written. So let it be done.” It sort of encapsulates a management style, doesn’t it?
Now and then I am given to wonder if there 'shouldn't be an 11th commandment for bosses. “Remember, the receiver determines the message; not the sender”. This newsletter isn’t over yet, even though a great learning point has surfaced. Keep reading.
How you say it, can be as important as what you say. Parents have experienced this phenomenon…often.
Have you ever had your directions followed too literally? Be careful what you ask for and how you ask for it.
For example, there was a Manager who had a habit of leaving notes of things he wanted to be done by his subordinates on their desks. The subordinates were required to make notations of their actions in response to his notes. It was a very “indirect communication” style… His employees decided to shape the boss's behavior.
A sampling of exchanges went:
Boss: Printer cartridge almost needs replacement.
Subordinate: Almost replaced printer cartridge.
Boss: There is something loose in the supply cabinet.
Subordinate: Tightened something in the supply cabinet.
Boss: There are dead bugs in the corner of the break room.
Subordinate: Live bugs have been put on order.
Boss: Evidence of people eating at their desks found.
Subordinate: Evidence was removed.
Boss: Computer keyboard acting funny.
Subordinate: The computer has been counseled to straighten up and be serious.
Boss: I took a mouse from the supply closet. Better order a new one.
Subordinate: Thanks for the info. I’ll get a cat too.
OK, will the cat eat bugs too? Just askin'.