Have you ever been in a situation where you are presenting to your manager or your manager's manager and you completely flub the opportunity by saying all the wrong things? Me too. It is from such encounters that I started to put together design patterns for handling these difficult situations. I like to think in systems and patterns, so applying this way of thinking to communication just makes sense. I have also found that these rules of thumb are useful to others, so I would like to share them here.
When you can spot the patterns, you can use some of the ideas presented here as guidelines to navigate these tricky, high-stress scenarios. This way you can feel confident and capable as a leader because you will know what to do: how to solve the problem and what steps to follow next.
Here are some of the most common challenging situations you may run into at work and how you can handle them.
- Someone asks you something you don't know
- There is a problem that is your fault or responsibility
- There is a decision that you don't agree with
- Your manager gives you negative feedback