How Mexican Meals, ALM Reports & Karaoke Can Help CUs
CUJ Reader Question: I have a hard time getting certain people on my management team to buy into my ideas. They just seem to be stuck in the past. How can I turn them into believers?
Kelley: Offer to take the manager out to a nice meal at a Mexican restaurant, then threaten to tell the waiter that it’s his/her birthday. Explain to the host that they have always wanted to wear a sombrero and shout “Ole” in public. (I’ve actually tried this and have pictures if you want to show how serious you are.) Then, once you’ve gotten them out of their comfort zone, ask them what their barriers are to the idea and deconstruct them one by one.
Roger: A nice meal at a Mexican restaurant usually leads to sudden gas and a Maalox Moment if you’re not careful. Meals like that require preparation and I don’t mean Preparation H. Management teams take pride in not going along with the crowd. The way to engage the group is to understand each individual, appeal to their sense and sensibilities one on one so they don’t have to believe their role in the group meeting is to be the advocate. If each person has accepted your ideas individually, they appear to be sucking up if they change during the presentation. Finally, get the disengaged to do part of the presentation. Nothing like making someone feel it was his or her idea, too.
CUJ Reader Question: I have a hard time getting work done. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind socializing with my co-workers. There are just certain crunch times when I need to meet deadlines. Shutting my door doesn’t even seem to work. What can I do to keep people out of my office without sounding like a jerk?
Kelley: Buy accessories for your office that shock people when touched. You can get staplers, pens, etc. Next time the unwanted nuisance is in your office, ask them to hand you that stapler. Zap! They’ll leave you alone.
Roger: Welcome them and ask them to come on in. Then, tell them that you were hoping someone could listen to your hour-long presentation on asset liability management. Unless it’s the CFO, they’ll probably be sorry they ever entered your office.
CUJ Reader Question: In our office we have certain staff that are constantly gossiping. The negativity is really bringing down morale. How can I stop the gossipers from spreading their rumors?
Kelley: Don’t call out anyone officially, that likely will make things worse. Simply start a rumor about the gossipers themselves. Make it something really juicy that others can’t help but spread. Oh, I don’t know, something like, “Your male CEO wears women’s underwear.” It works every time!
Roger: Make it known you do not appreciate gossip and refuse to buy in. Boldly make the statement that without proof of the story; it’s only hearsay, which we all know will not hold up in court.
CUJ Reader Question: Our management meetings tend to last way too long. How can I get long-winded staff to nip it?
Kelley: Purchase a karaoke machine and an egg timer. Simply state that in order to make meetings more efficient and fun, any staff that talks for more than 10 minutes on one subject will have to sing to the team’s request. And if you have staff that actually enjoy this form of torture, simply state that “It’s a Small World” is the first song on the docket.
Roger: Haven’t you heard of an agenda? Each management meeting should have an agenda distributed with a predetermined amount of time allocated for each item. Failure to adhere to the schedule implies poor management. No one wants the boss to think they are unprepared.