Share this Page URL

Chapter 23. We're All Difficult Sometime... > Sometimes You Just Have to Ask - Pg. 250

We're All Difficult Sometimes--Are You Difficult oo Much? 250 OK, so how do you do it? It could be over coffee with someone, or it could be at a meeting convened specifically for the purpose, but here's a good start: "Paul, although I'm the manager, I see my job as helping you and the other staff members do your jobs. That's really my most important role. So, it would really help me if you could tell me what kinds of things I could be doing to make your job easier and to make this place a better place to work. I know it's weird to have your manager ask you this kind of stuff, but the only way I can be more useful is if I know what you need from me." Again, notice we are staying away from asking Paul to make an assessment of your personality, your degree of difficulty, or anything else that might be hard to talk about. We're also presenting the question in a way that is helpful to the employee. We're asking for specific suggestions. In the conversation that follows, you will get a good idea of how that employee sees you. There's one other thing we have to say about this process. If you ask for information of this sort, you have an obligation to listen carefully, not argue, and make an honest attempt to use the sug- gestions employees make. If you aren't able to do all three, then, bingo! You are difficult. In addition to your boss and your employees, you can also ask your comanagers for feedback and even ask some of your family members about what you do that drives them a bit nutso. That can be helpful. But let's focus on one more informal way to get information from your coworkers. From the Manager's Desk