Friday, February 18, 2005

Interview with Bosses

I had an interview with one of the Senior Managers of the company, someone Bahija know, whom she called Mr Soon To Be GM. Well, I had my own reservations about this interview as I am not sure how this interview will turn out. I am not sure if the Senior Mgr likes me or not as we do have a history of working together for a while when he was not a Senior Mgr. It turned out to be a really plesant talk, which lasted an hour. He mentioned a few things which I agreed.

One of them was that as we matured in our working life, any interaction with people is a piece of useful information. The interaction could be a 5 minute elevator talk or it could be a 30 minute coffee session. It could be with someone you work with.. or it could be with some people from another team. Nevertheles, this interaction, or exchanging of information, will somehow be useful one way or another.

He also said that at a certain level, people are no longer motivated by money. Most of the people of high level quit because they don't see progress in their career. It's not the money. I tend to agree with what he said. Does it sound strange to you?

He told me to buy some management or motivational books. He said he never believed in all these. He worked with the company for 12 years and has only taken to buying management book as recent as a few months ago. He said that these books will be able to give you ideas and things you never thought of. Our GM and other Senior Managers are true believers of books. As you climb higher, he said, you will end up with more readings. Interesting..

Mr Soon To Be GM said that he has utmost respect to my 2nd level mgr. He said she could "disagree with you in a very nice way" and that is one skill that he's trying to learn.

So, after the interview, I went to see my 2nd line manager, GK to consult her on an issue at hand. Again, this conversation was very useful. What I learned today was that when handling emotional people, never use the word "Why". "Why did the report show this?", "Why didn't you do this?" She said "why" will always cause the other person to be defensive. Instead, use other words like "What do you think the report is showing this", "Help me understand the reason the report came out this way", "What is your reason for not doing this?"... hmmm.. useful for managing Bonnies in our lives, eh?

She also mentioned that we must always manage our emotion. She said she has a lot of problem but she always put on a smile or laugh when facing the problem. Why did she do that? Because being upset and mad does not help the issue. In fact, this negativity will spead to the whole team and instead of solving the issue, it swallows the people down and they don't think about solving the problem anymore. She said, as a leader, we must put up a facade, so other people are not affected by it.

GK called me a few minutes ago. She asked if the herbal tea she gave me earlier helped my coughing? I said yes. She asked me to go to her place to collect some more. I am thinking.. what a great boss. Who else could ask for more?

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