When the temperature rises – the light dims

6 Aug

Recently a colleague mentioned that his teen-age daughter had obtained her driver’s license, promptly backed out the driveway, hit the neighbor’s car – then drove off.  Dad learned about it when the neighbor came over.  He is a gentle man, but he was pretty upset!  Sounds like conflict, something familiar to managers.

Conflict feeds on HEAT and SPEED. The emotional temperature goes up and drives too-rapid reactions.  This is a one-two punch that produces transient stupidity.

When the daughter came home, mom suggested an over-night cool down and asked daughter to suggest what penalty dad and mom should consider.  In the morning daughter suggested a harsh penalty.  The parents asked for an apology to the neighbor, were able to enact a milder punishment and re-assured the daughter that they still loved her and had confidence in her driving.

This is an example of a wise management process:

• This partnership works (managers need to collaborate).

• Someone understood that some cool-off and slow-down time was needed (managers take heed)

• The parents invited the daughter to take some responsibility for the decisions by asking for her recommendation (this won’t work with all teens or employees).

• In the morning everyone was cooler and emotion wasn’t driving decision making.

• The parents concluded by asking their daughter what she learned and re-assured her of their love (managers re-assure and show respect).

For more detail check out the full story.

Major point:  Managing heat and speed is an important people skill.

Consider this when you are hot:  “Sleep on it.

The similarities between effective managing and good parenting are often striking.

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