Well we just finished a great ALARMT session with one of the management teams with the city of Texarkana, Texas. We covered a lot of territory in 6 1/2 hours. I received some great feedback in the class and I also learned a lot about the workings of a municipality. As usual, we all found out that we deal with many of the same issues and we must handle them, they don’t just go away. Below are some of the comments I received from the class:
- The training brought new perspectives and re-enforced ideas on getting the most out of ourselves as managers as well as our employees. It was good to hear that others are facing the same situations with staff as we do.
- I thoroughly enjoyed the course. It was not boring, it kept my attention. You gave very interesting examples of your past experiences. I can use these in my job.
- Good information – not only useful in the worksite setting but “day to day” relationships.
- I don’t feel like there was “too much” or “not enough of” anything. The training flowed and information given came from personal experience. This helps seeing what works and what doesn’t in things we deal with in our day to day professional life. I will also take with me things to help me in my personal life.
- Thanks so much Greg – It was great and I think we all have learned so much. We will continue to have discussion when we return to the office.
- I liked the format. The stories help support issues that we as supervisors face each day. It is true what you said about looking back at ourselves. We can build or tear down with our words. I liked the small group round table. I prefer this way of learning.
- The training brought new perspectives and re-enforced ideas on getting the most out of ourselves as managers as well as employees. It was good to hear that others are facing the same situations as we do.
I also received some suggestions for tweaking future classes. They were also nice enough to allow me to video the “Semi-Success Story” I share in class. You can hear this at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGZ-_tDVb7E
One of the things we spent quite a bit of time on in the class was dealing with results and not emotion or personalities. Here was one of the topics:
I developed a philosophy in 1994 that has served me very, very, well and that philosophy is; in order for you to make me angry I have to grant you permission. I am happy to say that since 1994 I have probably only granted permission to a couple of people to make me angry. I’ve also heard it said that “he who angers you, owns you”. I certainly don’t like that. My life is so much easier. I have never, ever seen two angry people work anything out. In fact most of the time, even when one person is angry, they rarely reach a solution. When you are covering results with employee, do not get emotional, it’s based on results, it’s not based on personality or emotion. It’s just results, here’s where you are, here is where I need you to be and here is what will occur if you are not there. Is there something that I can do or that we can do together to help you get there?
You know what, speaking of anger, I don’t attend every meeting or party or social event or anything that I am invited to and I certainly do not attend every argument that I am invited to. In fact I’ll share this with you. Use this next time you are invited to an argument. I was in a very heated meeting one time and it was very, very obvious that I was being invited to an argument with this person. I recognized it, flipped my calendar open and I just said “stop”. I said “I am going to be unable to attend”. “I just checked my calendar” They replied with “what the xxx” and other language that I can’t repeat on this blog. I stated that it’s obvious you are inviting me to an argument and I just checked my calendar and I’m booked up. I will be unable to attend and we began laughing. After the laughter began it put the tension behind us and we were able to resolve the issue. Get the emotion out of the meeting if possible.
I have heard this put this way, when you walk into a room are you the thermometer or a thermostat. If you are like a thermometer, whatever the rooms temperature, whatever’s happening in the room, if its anger, you will go along with it. When you walk into the room and you are like the thermostat, if you are calm and collected and cool, then people are going to come down to your temperature. You will gain control over the room. Remember as I talk about results and handling problems, don’t forget Bobs rule, if I have to do your job I don’t need you. Your manager needs you to hold people accountable because you will be held accountable.
Before I leave this topic, while dealing with emotion and anger, here is also something that served me very well. Never, ever send an emotional e-mail. Type the e-mail, put it your draft folder, go home and sleep on it. I promise you, you will never send an emotional e-mail with the original language. I am just speaking from personal experience because when I retired I deleted over a thousand e-mails in my draft folder. I never sent an e-mail that was typed in emotion in its original format. I always put it in the draft folder, looked at it later, most of the time I would just delete it or never send, but everyone of them, without exception, that were sent, were changed from their original format.
Remember, remain personally accountable and manage results, not people!