I’ve sat through my fair share of management training sessions. Some are good, some are crap. But here’s what several years of agency life have taught me: my definitive list (admittedly, only five so far) of ‘management power plays’…
The power walk
A stone cold classic. The perfect way to make yourself appear important – striding high speed across the office. The faster the better. Has connotations of busy, powerful, man/woman on a mission. Extra points for responding to a question/shouting a comment out across the office without breaking stride.
Leaving a meeting, while finishing a joke
Works especially well in a large open plan office. After a major client meeting (ideally with intimidating/scary client) leave the room just as you’re hitting the punch-line of a joke (i.e. “well that’s what she said anyway!”)…making sure both you and the client are laughing. Extra points for slapping client on the back as you leave. Attracts attention.
The table slap
Nothing says you’re in charge of a meeting like slapping a table and saying ‘done’ loudly to punctuate your point/sum up what’s just been said. Even if the decision is wrong (remember, it’s about the certainty of the slap, not the quality of the decision). Make sure you leave room after the slap to add gravitas.
Remembering people’s names, then using them extensively throughout a meeting
I’m always terrible at remembering people’s names, but a great management power play is to remember everyone’s names, then use them extensively…”I agree with what Will Ockenden said…isn’t that right Will….yes Will had a great point” ad infinitum. Gets annoying quickly. Don’t get name wrong – that bit’s key.
Barking out cliches and slogans
The more meaningless the better: “don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions…” or “let’s play the waiting game…the hardest game in the world”. Extra points for delivering the lines with real drama.
Anyone more suggestions welcomed…
Image used under Creative Commons, courtesy of _Davo_