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The Manager Is Always On Stage July 1, 2009

Posted by Tim Rodgers in Management & leadership.
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I’m an extrovert, and apparently one behavior that’s characteristic of this group is the need to “process externally,” or think out loud. It’s not that I enjoy hearing myself talk, but I often don’t realize how realistic or ridiculous my ideas are until I put them to words. I’m also convinced that my ideas get better when other people add their two cents, whether supportive or critical.

That’s all good, but extroverts have to learn to be more circumspect when they become managers. There’s positional power associated with the job title, and that status adds surprising weight to words, gestures, and even facial expressions. Unfortunately I’ve been guilty of unconsciously sending people off on a wild goose chase that turned out to be based on some off-handed comment in a hallway conversation.

That doesn’t mean I have to do all my processing internally. Now I’m careful to preface my brainstorming with a disclaimer, something like “We’re just talking here, we’re not making a decision.” Being a manager means being on stage, with bright lights illuminating every move.

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