DailyQ #39: How to deal with upper management

How do I deal with upper management working staff to death? Troy Hoffman breaks down the process to create crucial conversations in the workplace. We all have blind spots unless we open effective dialogues that expose solutions from all angles.

Every company experiences this problem with cross-department dysfunction. The top pushes harder thinking employees can manage more, while the bottom feels overextended and middle management is torn between sides.

This happens when companies fail to identify:

  • Real expectations for the cost
  • Behaviors expected that conflict with costs
  • Metrics to manage efficiency

Gather as many expectations and metrics possible to line up with costs, which enables you to create a balanced scorecard. Do you understand pay for performance systems? Learning how to implement these before presenting all this information to management. This will begin the dialogue.

Crucial Conversations, by Kerry Patterson, details key communication principles perfect for this application. Effectively sharing this data allows everyone to get clear on the metrics.

  1. Are you clear on the ideal expectations for each accountant?
  2. What are the systems that are working for you? Which ones are not working?
  3. Where is there potential for improvement and how can that be facilitated?

What is your recommended solution? Upper-management will have a unique perspective that can't be seen from below, but they must be presented with your view. Our job is to become masterful at crucial conversations and colliding in a specific way to solve problems. Keep presenting your metrics and beliefs, so everyone can see the globe from all angles.

Opening a dialogue enabling others to see what we see, expands their view of the possibilities.

Every relationship has unmet expectations, so we must approach these conversations without emotion to minimize dysfunction. There is no perfect communication, there are no perfect relationships, and certainly no perfect businesses.

Methods and channels of communication set one company apart from another. The openness to outside opinions walking through the door and receiving them empowers you to work challenges together from all angles.

Now go and live your destiny!


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