Saturday, February 26, 2011

Management Stories # 26 - Be careful when you pass comments

A balloonist, who was set to travel in a particular direction, realized that he was lost. He then decided to drop down to ask directions and found a young lady around.

“Excuse me, but I am a little off course” he shouted. “I promised to meet a friend an hour ago, I don’t know where I am.”

The woman hollered back: “You are in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You are at exactly 40 degrees, 22 minutes, and 21 seconds North latitude and 70 degrees, 30 minutes, and 33 seconds West longitude.”

“Amazing,” the balloonist replied. “You must be an engineer!”

“I am,” she replied, “How did you know?”

“Well,” answered the balloonist, “everything you told me is technically correct, but I can’t use your information. Am still lost and you have not been much help at all. If anything, you have delayed my trip.”

The woman thought for a moment, then replied: “You must be in management.”

“I am,” replied the balloonist, “but how did you know?”

“Well,” said the woman, “you do not know where you are or where you are going. You have risen to your position due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise that you have no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems.”

“In fact,” she said, “you are in exactly the same position you were before we met, but somehow it is now my fault.”

The balloonist felt so ashamed that he let off all the hot air, and left the balloon in the same place, and ran off home.

So the next time you pass comments on people below you, please bear in mind that you could actually be getting it back sometime soon. If any, pass comments as issue-based and do not make anything personal.

Issue-based firing is always tolerable, but certainly not individual-centric or bad personal comments. Learn to treat people with minimum respect and retain your own dignity.

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