As I was getting ready to type in my father’s second installment of “Managing People Principles”, I was thinking about what to use as a introduction. The line from Cool Hand Luke came to mind. Because, after all, isn’t most of managing people about communicating. Communicating expectations, communicating culture, communicating feedback, communicating, communicating, communicating. I don’t know if I have ever watched Cool Hand Luke and so I thought that maybe I should find out what it is about before using a quote from it. So, I went to the authoritative site for all things movies (www. imdb.com) and read the comments and storyline write-up on the movie. The site stated:
“Luke Jackson is a cool, gutsy prisoner in a Southern chain gang, who, while refusing to buckle under to authority, keeps escaping and being recaptured. The prisoners admire Luke because, as Dragline explains it, “You’re an original, that’s what you are!” Nevertheless, the camp staff actively works to crush Luke until he finally breaks.”
Wow, I think that this storyline is from a company I used to work at. How many managers have employees that refuse “to buckle under authority” and feel that they need to “crush” that employee until they finally break?
That certainly gives some food for thought. I guess that makes my father’s write-up even more fitting.
You may remember that a month or so ago, he did a piece about A, B, and C employees and the need to work employees up to be more motivated and engaged to be more productive and fulfilled. My question to him was “Good advice, now how do you go about doing that?”
Here is his next installment:
Be sincere and helpful – Pick a time and place to meet with the employee. Be sincere, because it shows that you mean what you say. Remember that you need their help to make your work place more productive and efficient. Tell them that this meeting is to help both of you.
Start with a question they can answer with a yes or no such as “Do you like your work?”. If they say “yes”, ask them what they like about their work. If they say “no”, ask them what they don’t like about their work.
That will give you a clue about their attitude and having to come to work. It is important for the employee to do most of the talking because you need that feedback in order to help them to become part of the team. Their answer will help you to suggest solutions to change their attitude and help them to be more cooperative.
Another good question that I have used is “If you were the manager, what would you change?” I have been surprised at some of the answers that I received. They have been very helpful because they look at it from a different perspective.
More good stuff, Dad, thanks. Which of the two communication methods are evident in your management style? Man, this stuff is not easy.
I think I’ll work on my dad to see if I can convince him to write part three and share some more of his hard-earned wisdom. Until then, let us know any comments you have, Facebook, twitter, http://www.mcdonaldcontainers or here on the blog.