The Follow Shirley Method? Whenever we talk about this topic, we get quizzical looks at first. Maybe you’ve never heard it called by that name, but you’ve been the victim of this training method at least once in your career. You arrive on the first day of your new job, your supervisor looks a little surprised to see you, and says, “Just follow Shirley today. She’ll show you the ropes.” That’s the Follow Shirley Method.
Are you still living with the fantasy that relationships should be 50/50? If you want to be a manager who makes a difference, we encourage you to embrace the reality that relationships ebb and flow. Some days relationship investments from the two parties might be 60/40. Other days they might be 30/70. And over time some relationships may never even out to 50/50.
I come from a family in which forgiveness abounds but apologies are much less common. In fact, my younger brother owns and proudly wears a t-shirt that says “I MAY BE WRONG BUT I DOUBT IT...” (Just for the record, that doesn’t even come close to an apology.)
Managers spend a lot of time focusing on managing “down” – guiding their teams and energizing results that align with organizational goals. A recent study from McKinsey highlights the importance of also managing “sideways” with colleagues and “up” with higher-level leaders. In fact, the combination of managing up and sideways has a 50% higher impact on business success than managing down does. And when it comes to individual career success, managing sideways and up is twice as important as managing down.
Conflict exists. There’s no getting around that fact. People frequently turn to their manager to referee. In fact, research from The Ken Blanchard Companies suggests 64% of people wish they could talk about problems with colleagues “often” or “all the time” in one-on-one conversations with their managers. When they get asked to mediate conflict, managers can make things better…or worse.