A Response To Care About
What is both a satisfying and beneficial response? It’s a response which lets you know you’ve been heard, viewed and treated with respect. This means both sides are heard and treated with respect.
A recent grad asked his young Director for the latest iPhone, thinking he would relate to his view. “There’s no need for the upgrade”, his boss told him, “the company won’t pay for it.” The direct report, confounded, replied with a suggestion – to buy the phone personally, and then the company could pay him back. “Same response” said the Director. “There’s not that much of a difference in the two phones, anyhow.” He could tell his reply didn’t seem to be a real deterrent and knew the conversation would arise again soon. Knowing his team, the Director also recalled that the junior team member spoke about environmental issues as something he cared about.
The junior employee would have benefited from more information. Company policy in this conversation may have been a show stopper for his boss, but it wasn’t for him. It gave him a strict rule but without an explanation or a reason to care. And, the Director may have assumed that a company rule which was all he personally needed, was enough for his direct report.
In this story, in the same way, the junior employee had assumed his Director could understand and agree with his need for the latest phone technology and therefore no discussion was necessary.
Here are three examples that would have closed the cycle of on-going requests and been satisfying and beneficial for both people.
- Balance Sheet. The Director could have explained the company is trying to hold costs down in technology instead choosing to spend on development of junior employees, bonuses, or beverage/food perks.
- Further Information. Another alternative, the Director may have offered the business is investing in optimal ways of gathering data for better business operations and those systems are being built off existing technology rather than future technology.
- Recipient’s Value Add. Third choice, the Director could have relayed the business’ dedication to sustainability, not wanting to add to the country’s environmental waste, particularly without substantial need. He knew this was of a personal interest to the recent grad.
In our current climate, we all crave more information and transparency. We wonder how does this relate to me? Consider then, in responding to someone looking for an answer – would you want a short response, like a fatherly “no” (end of conversation) or an explanation that made sense to you? What other ways would you use for a solution that would make both of you feel heard and complete?
And, if the third example resonates with you personally, consider visiting Back Market, a global seller of used and refurbished smartphones. (www.backmarket.com)
If scheduling a one-time workshop is your response to leadership training but your young talent is seeking additional information, a workshop is not the answer. Developing emerging leadership is my mission. If you’d like to create a plan toward more satisfied team members with the benefit of increased retention, let’s talk. Contact me at Susan@SusanGoldbergLeadership.com