The Approachable Manager

Self Improvement International|June 2020

The Approachable Manager
Workplace Leadership
Jeff Rich

Some years ago I was watching a program on a business TV channel where a bunch of reputed and elderly CEOs were the judges for a young business entrepreneur program. Each young participant, probably in their twenties, was expected to present some business case or an entrepreneurship idea for the winning entry. However, the program was going nowhere as the judges weren’t allowing any participant to complete their presentation or even go beyond a couple of sentences, as they were bombarding them with tough and cynical questions. This was causing the youngsters to become nervous and lose their flow of thoughts. The judges were even firing smart questions at each other and answering every question with another question. Mercifully, the program ended soon as one of the participants was awarded a prize with something inscribed on it, while the others walked out dazed and gasping for breath.

What the above incident teaches you is the world today is full of people who love to ask tough questions. Interviews, talk shows, blogs, corporate seminars, meetings, vendor discussions, business strategies, IT support, journalism, service level agreements, etc., all love bombarding someone with truckloads of smart and intelligent-sounding questions. Today, asking questions that others cannot answer is the favorite hobby for many people, especially corporate managers. Such executives take great pride in asking complicated and smart questions to their team members to make them squirm, shut their mouth, or run away from the scene.

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June 2020