Management as Theatre: Engage Your Thinkers

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Engaging an audience from Think On Your Feet from Holst

In the final part of this series, it’s so far, so good for John, the MD. But there’s still the personal issue to address.

This kind of business/personal dilemma reminds John that the “pendulum” (another image) is a useful way to order ideas when apparent opposites are involved. (The ‘pendulum’ outlines the horns of the dilemma before stating the middle position, or resolution. He’s already revealed the first horn.) So, he continues….

“On the other hand, apart from preserving your bonus, this does not directly address your concern which is, I imagine, is there any way you can stay on level pegging with your Line A colleagues?” 

“Spot on”, is probably what everyone’s thinking, plus; “What are you going to do about it?”

“So, what can we do? We can’t go back, I believe. But one idea does come to mind. Now the emergency is over, we could provide training for those of you who’d like to apply for future Line A vacancies. I need to check the feasibility of this. But, if we can, and it’s OK with you, I’d like to do this. 

Can I get back to you via the Line B team leader next week? And we’ll let the rest of you know how this turned out at next quarter’s Town Meeting. Any follow-ups, before I go to the next question?” 

Engaging an audience

How do you rate John’s ‘performance’? What’s he achieved? How did he do in engaging an audience? Well, he didn’t fluff his lines. He seemed to ‘connect’ with the audience. And he offered a straightforward and empathic answer, all at the same time. It may not be Shakespeare, but it’s pretty good under pressure. The structures he had in mind supported him as chords might a musician. They don’t replace the melody in his head—but they do allow him to perform it. Are the Line B operators ‘happy’? Maybe, maybe not. But if they judge his answers to be adequate to good, the odds are he continues to command their respect. Ultimately, that’s the only mandate for leaders of knowledge workers. They own their own, very personal, very portable means of production. Coming up after the break: John will do this twice more today on the other shifts. It’s little wonder he’s risen so quickly in the business. Engaging the ‘thinkers’ in your workforce is necessary. Thinking quickly and clearly ‘on your feet’ has become a core competence for modern leaders. And it makes for some great management theatre. Develop your speaking skills for success in engaging an audience, delivering tricky messages, or even just to make a good impression. Learn more about how to Think On Your Feet®.]]>

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