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Bus Story: A Teachable Moment. Maybe.

January 14, 2016

Swaddled in blue scarves, she bites her words into the phone.

“Don’t tell me that,” she growls, “just get it done!”The advent of these sleek phones has taken away the ability to dramatically slam a receiver into the hook, but she makes an attempt by stabbing her phone so hard that her seat mate whips her head around to make sure the next viscous poke isn’t aimed at her. Countess Blue Scarf catches her glance and takes the moment to roll her eyes and seek commiseration from the stranger next to her. 

“Humph,” she snorts, “sometimes you have to just put your foot down.”

“Mmmhmm…” replies the seat neighbor, now both annoyed and scared. 

It’s an interesting management parable, playing out on the 120. Yes, there are indeed times to be firm. Yes, you may have to be direct and even blunt. And, because we’re human, yes, sometimes you’re going to be frustrated, and maybe even a bit pissed off. But remember that your job, ultimately, is help your team succeed. So be clear and forthright. But don’t be a buttknob. And never, EVER be a buttknob in public.

Here endeth the lesson.

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