High C Manager Simple Downfall - Part 1
This cast addresses a behavioral change for an insidious practice of High C Managers: finding fault with recommendations and ideas.
As managers, all of us have our foibles. For the High D Dominants, it's interrupting, and not praising combined with nerve-shattering demands. For High I's, it's narcissistic messiness without follow through. For High S's, it's dithering on deadlines to protect a culture of well, protection. For High C's, well, they're always right, so maybe they have no foibles. HA! Caught you! We're kidding of course. High C's have foibles just like everybody else.
All managers – whether we characterize them or not – have foibles. The High C's foible is often that he or she can't leave well enough alone. Marshall Goldsmith calls this, in his FANTASTIC book, What Got You Here Won't Get You There, "adding too much value".
How does this play out? The perfectionist manager, technical or not, hears an idea, or a suggestion, and feels compelled to improve by pointing out something that either isn't right or in his opinion could be made even better. It's all in the pursuit of perfection, meant usually, though not always, as a good thing, an improvement, something better. The direct who hears this, though, doesn't hear, "this is good". What he or she hears is, "this is wrong, and here's how it can be improved. Or, when the direct shares a potential solution to a problem, and the High C manager says, "well, that won't work, because of this flaw in your recommended action".
High C's will argue with us here, saying that they are NOT saying that the idea or recommendation they are commenting on is "wrong". But, alas, their own desire to be right makes them wrong here. ;-) We didn't say the High C manager SAID it was wrong. We said that's what the direct heard.
And that is the fundamental problem with most communication: what is said is not what is heard. DiSC profiles help us see the gaps between what our own and others' tendencies are, and help us avoid these subtle miscommunications. (We call them subtle not because they're slight, but because neither side positively addresses the potential disconnect.) High C's tend to discount praise, and stay factual. They discount the people involved, and focus more on the work, the process, the task, the project.
If you're a High C boss, and you do this a lot – and by the way, if you're an IT manager and you're not a big party guy, then we'd guess you DO do this a lot – you'd better hope you have some really bright, really tough directs. Because all your improvements are going to irritate the hell out of them, enough so that they're going to stop suggesting things, and you'll increasing be running things by doing things. If it seems lately that you've been getting more involved in more details than you used to, this very issue might be the longstanding, slow-burning cause.
And yet, the solution is EASY to understand, and pretty easy to do. Here it is.
- Stop Giving Voice Only To Corrections and Improvements
- Verbalise The Positive First
- Don't Give Introductory Praise BUT
- Praise Then Amplify ONLY in One Sentence
- End With Thank You
- High C Manager Simple Downfall Shownotes (PDF) High C Manager Simple Downfall Shownotes (PDF)
- High C Manager Simple Downfall Slides (PDF) High C Manager Simple Downfall Slides (PDF)
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