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Chapter 21 UNDERSTAND Listen Deeper

Beverly Kaye Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

My boss never really understood me.

—A.J.

“You’re not listening. You never listen.” If you ever hear these complaints, at home or at work, read on. Why is there no end to the training courses on this subject? Why do feedback surveys repeatedly tell managers that they are lousy listeners? Why don’t we get it?

Most managers don’t really believe that listening is a critical skill. They believe that being results oriented or customer focused is much more important to business success than being a good listener. Are they right?

Joe understands me. He listens to me—and I feel understood. The more he listens, the more I reveal, and the stronger our relationship becomes. We have developed a huge amount of trust. With other bosses, I used to edit. I tell Joe everything. As a result, he is never surprised. He has a better handle on things. Because of our bond, we are more creative, take bigger risks, push the boundaries, and accomplish amazing things. I have never had a better boss, and I have never been so productive. Right now, nothing could entice me away from this job.

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Medium 9781605093482

Chapter Eleven When Things Get Emotional: Time-outs

Blanchard, Ken Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

”JOSH. JOSH. Joshie! Listen to me!” Amy’s voice grew louder, but it was no match for her son’s voice, as the youngster wailed, screamed, and thrashed on the floor, beating his little feet against the carpet. His eyes were pinched shut, and tears streaked his fiery red face. Amy fell silent, suddenly realizing that with her insistence, she was only reinforcing Josh’s poor behavior. He was having a full-fledged tantrum, and the longer Amy tried to reason with him, the louder and more upset he became. As she concentrated on calming herself, a scene came into her mind from a few days ago.

Amy and Kim Lee had been working with Kagan, a year-old killer whale, when the calf suddenly turned and swam away toward one of the underwater viewing ports that was being cleaned by a crew member. Kagan had been distracted by the sound of the squeegee rubbing on the window. When Kim Lee tried to get the whale’s attention by slapping the water with her open hand, Kagan started to swim toward her, but at the last minute, he swung back in the direction of the glass. He even slapped his tail several times in an aggressive manner, letting Kim Lee know that he didn’t want to cooperate. The whale was throwing a little tantrum.

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Medium 9781576752074

The Sales Garden Model

Alan Vengel Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub
Medium 9781576753408

2 The Dynamics of Managing

Henry Mintzberg Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

I dont want it good—I want it Tuesday.

Have a look at the popular images of managing—that conductor on the podium, those executives sitting at desks in New Yorker cartoons—and you get one impression of the job: well ordered, seemingly carefully controlled. Watch some managers at work and you will likely find something far different: a hectic pace, lots of interruptions, more responding than initiating. This chapter describes these and related characteristics of managing: how managers work, with whom, under what pressures, and so on—the intrinsically dynamic nature of the job.

I first described these characteristics in my 1973 book. None of them could have come as a shock to anyone who ever spent a day in a managerial office, doing the job or observing it. Yet they struck a chord with many people—especially with managers—perhaps because they challenged some of our most cherished myths about the practice of managing. Time and again, when I presented these conclusions to groups of managers, the common response was You make me feel so good! While I thought that all those other managers were planning, organizing, coordinating, and controlling, I was constantly being interrupted, jumping from one issue to another, and trying to keep the lid on the chaos.1

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Medium 9781576751534

Persist in Your Belief in Empowerment

Ken Blanchard Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

AS MICHAEL walked back to Sandy’s office he was feeling good about all he had learned. It seemed like a long time ago when he had been dragging his feet.

“Well, are you ready to go?” Sandy smiled as she greeted him.

“I think so. Your associates have been very helpful, and I’ve learned a great deal about empowerment. Implementing the three keys sounds like quite a challenge but also a great gift to everyone in our company. I hope we can make it work for us.”

“There is no doubt that you will need persistence in your belief that empowerment will work.”

“Particularly with the last key—replacing hierarchical thinking with self-managed teams,” said Michael. “Information sharing got me at first, but the role of teams seems even tougher.”

“That’s the part that always makes managers doubt the whole process,” Sandy replied.

“When the inevitable confusion and dissatisfaction stage of the journey sets in, it must seem so out of control,” Michael said in a pained tone.

“Yes! Know why?” Sandy asked. “Because if you are going to be held accountable, you want to be in control.”

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