Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Issues issues issues

Issues. Its what I do really. Issues are escalated (make that thrown) up to me. I have to judge if this fact or that fact is more relevant, and make sure the right people are involved doing the right thing. Oddly, the greater the pressure, the more issues are escalated.

In a nice calm environment, most people feel capable of dealing with things amongst themselves. For someone like me, this has its own risks as you have to trust they would make the right judgement. Mostly they do, and a good manager relies on that. In times of pressure though, like I’m in at the moment, people stop trusting themselves. The stakes begin to feel too high, and even little questions that they should be perfectly capable of handling, are tossed away.

Sometimes what I have to do is stroke favoured brows and just talk through the situation until those involved answer it themselves. This is the hardest method, though often the most effective. It is always easier to just barrel in and start making decisions.

It felt like I did a lot of that yesterday. Too many time critical things that people weren’t acting on correctly. Or so my judgement was. I can be an angry bear, and I’ve had feedback in the past that in that mode I can be quite intimidating. Oddly, I’ve also had feedback that people find my angry bear mode quite comforting. I suppose it takes the pressure off themselves.

Experience has shown though, that patience and calm is more effective. A captain with an unsweaty brow, and a softly cracked joke before a smoothly delivered directive does more to encourage the troops than one that’s gallumping around shouting orders. So today its back to the cool and collected boy. Or so I promise myself…


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