High C Reporting to High I

I have a boss who displays all the classic attributes of a High I.  Being a High C it drives me nuts.  I probably drive him nuts too with my 1,000 questions.  I would love to get some tips please from those of you who have successfully worked with a High I boss.

I have listened to the casts about managing your boss.  I think I have a good handle on his goals.  It is the how that I struggle with.  I have also recently listened to the cast about making decisions effective.  This last cast really hit the nail on the head for me about what is driving me crazy.  Lots of ideas to be implemented but it falls away from there.  The who is going to do what by when gets lost in a kind of fog.  When talk of implementation plans is mentioned it gets glossed over or deferred.  Each department manager is more or less left to work out what they need to do to implement the ideas. 

Mostly we work it out.  Things slip through though.  It also puts a lot of pressure on frontline staff when things comes up that do not fit neatly into someone's area of responsibility.  Things get left to the last minute.  Vague deadlines get deferred.  Dedicated staff sort things out but I can see their frustration at times.

Any advice on this would be much appreciated, thank you.

John

Enjoy as well as tackle

Sounds like you have done a good job researching what MT has to offer for a High C direct working for a High I boss. I have a further suggestion, though it may sound a bit weird.

It is easy to regard the tension between your boss' High I-ness and your High C-ness as if it were exclusively a technical problem. I'd also work on your personal relationship (e.g. do small-talk even if your High C side is shrieking that this interaction is non-functional). And I'd try to find/remember things that are good about your Boss' High I-ness: maybe the boldness, the vision, the customer focus.

High I's tend to be VERY good at reading how people feel about them, so if you can appreciate your boss at least a bit he/she is more likely to learn to appreciate you, and listen to valid concerns you might have about implementation.

I'm not trying to say that the problems are all in your head, just to remind you to use the positive side. A pity if the High I boss is going "I have a dream this afternoon" and the High C directs automatically just go "oh brother here he goes again". Some dreams are actually worth hearing out - and then doing the work to implement.

 

Hope that helps

Enjoy as well as tackle

Sounds like you have done a good job researching what MT has to offer for a High C direct working for a High I boss. I have a further suggestion, though it may sound a bit weird.

It is easy to regard the tension between your boss' High I-ness and your High C-ness as if it were exclusively a technical problem. I'd also work on your personal relationship (e.g. do small-talk even if your High C side is shrieking that this interaction is non-functional). And I'd try to find/remember things that are good about your Boss' High I-ness: maybe the boldness, the vision, the customer focus.

High I's tend to be VERY good at reading how people feel about them, so if you can appreciate your boss at least a bit he/she is more likely to learn to appreciate you, and listen to valid concerns you might have about implementation.

I'm not trying to say that the problems are all in your head, just to remind you to use the positive side. A pity if the High I boss is going "I have a dream this afternoon" and the High C directs automatically just go "oh brother here he goes again". Some dreams are actually worth hearing out - and then doing the work to implement.

 

Hope that helps

Stay Positive

Thanks for the advice.  What you have said and also some great material about influencing upwards by Marshall Goldsmith have been very helpful...Work on the relationship, stay positive, worry only about what I can control and make peace with what I can't.  These are the main things I will be focussing on.

Become the trusted lieutenant

Most high I's (like me) appreciate directs who have a handle on the details.  We like someone who has a list of every initiative, what the next steps would be, who's assigned to it, when it's due.  We hate doing that ourselves, but love having it done.  

So start keeping track.  Review it with your boss (need a reason to start "Boss one on ones"?  here it is!)  Have your boss prioritize the list, and agree on who's working on what.  Keep it high level.  Things will drift to the bottom of the list;  your boss will see that. 

It's about priorities and resource allocation.  I bet your boss knows it won't all get done.  By helping him/her focus on the top priorities ("We can finish this one in three weeks, and then we can work on the next one.") you can add a lot of value.  

Good luck.

John Hack

looking at it from the other end of the telescope....

Hi John

Im a High I with a High C/S production guy reporting to me - exactly the opposite of where you are at. I've also just listened to the podcast about " insidious practices of High I" and how we have great ideas and don't follow them through.

All I can say about that Podcast (and also your post) is "OMG" - how wide have my eyes been opened to this problem.

My Production Manager drives me screwy - out of a team of 7 he's the one I spent most time thinking over how we can work together. He drives me mad ! He loves working in silence, he lacks any communication skills, he's like a Dementor to the office atmosphere, he loves his list of jobs. Conversely, I want noise in the office, lots of communication, lots of interaction between team members.

But at least now I can see what the route of the problems is.

Maybe some advice to a High C - communicate more.

BUT........ don't drown us in detail, we dont want to hear it. I either get nothing back at all from my guy or I get the whole chapter and verse.

In the High I world the ideal project catch up meeting goes like this;  "Is the project being worked on"? Yes. "Are there any problems"? No. "When it ETA for completion"? 2 weeks time. "OK fine thats all I need to know, goodbye". Dont tell me any more !

You say

" The who is going to do what by when gets lost in a kind of fog.  When talk of implementation plans is mentioned it gets glossed over or deferred.  Each department manager is more or less left to work out what they need to do to implement the ideas. "

The reason this happens is that us High Is are not interested in the who, what and when. And we do expect, nay want, others to go away and work it out for themselves. If you High Cs can work out and then tell us the who, what and when, we'd really appreciate it. Dont ask us to do it ! In addition we see those that do go away and work out the implementation themselves as great performers. So what you see as our weakness is from our point of view giving you the opportunity to excel and impress us.

Us High Is are simple folk really; take our brilliant ideas away, make them work. We dont need the bit in the middle thank you :-)

Hope this view from the other end of the telescope helps in some way

Phil

Keeping track and a sense of humour is helping

Thanks John and Phil for your advice. 

Keeping track and presenting updates in our catch-up meetings is helping.  Sometimes it barely gets a glance but it is helping me keep my sanity.  And I have the answers ready if I get questions about where a particular ball that has been tossed up is at.  Having a sense of humour helps too!

Good luck with your high C Phil.  I have one reporting to me too.  Is easily the best in our team in terms of the quality of their work.  But I find they are the hardest member of the team to manage in terms of effective behaviour towards colleagues.  

This person has incredibly high standards and expects everyone else to perform to those standards also.  Frequently they do not and I get to hear about it.  Feedback along the lines of  "You will most likely get a better response from your colleagues if you first try to talk to them to sort out issues, rather than complaining to me first" seems to fall on deaf ears.  "They respect me for my work" is the response I get to feedback on this subject.

I keep looking for ways to get the message across that relationships and communication are vitally important in a team environment as well as producing good quality work.  It ain't easy!

So true!

All I can say is best post on the forum ever. I am a high C working with a high I and so very frustated, thankyou all sides for your input.

My boss had scheduled one on ones with me which would regularly be hijacked for other meetings; sends big (high C speaking: wafty!) emails that I spend far too long decoding to see exactly what it is they're saying to me, support our third party partners (who are also high I's)  to have "planning" (a.k.a. talkfest) days with no actionable direction at the end... it drives me WILD!

Now I get where you're coming from. I still need a bit of clarity and want to challenge my boss every now and then on their thinking but I now understand they want me to execute and deal with the details, since that's what I'm good at.

Any other high I bosses want to comment on what they'd like from their high C staff?