Friday, May 01, 2015

Best managerial advice ever (UPDATED).

There's a great article by Paula Krebs in this week's Chronicle of Higher Education's Vitae section (here).  In it, she talks about the importance of working on difficult issues by first imagining why the person sitting across the table from you has formed her views.  The idea of assuming that the other party to a negotiation has principled reasons for her position is a good way to see any difficult issue as an issue to be solved collaboratively.

Here's my favorite quote from her essay:
Since transitioning out of the faculty and into administration, I've had to work hard to learn how to shut up and listen.  My job, I've discovered, isn't to solve the problems.  It's to understand them and then work with the people affected to come up with ways to solve the problems.
Every time I have tried to solve a problem when it's presented to me, I've created more problems.  So I'm learning to talk to more people, to ask more questions, to listen to the answers.
That's darn good advice for us all.

UPDATE (5/4/15):  This post also gives good advice, as does this article.

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