Friday, 21 October 2016

Rule 54: Be adaptable in your dealings with different people


By on 10:30
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Nigeria's Famous Magazine Publisher & Owner of City  People, Dr. Oluseye Kehinde


Being a chameleon is a good thing just so long as you can carry it off.  People are all different and if you try to treat them all the same you run the risk of offending them all or at least failing to satisfy any of them.
It is a lot easier if you are a parent to understand this rule.  If you have more than one child, you will know how essential it is not to treat them the same. Each child needs different motivating forces.  For some it is enough to be mildly disappointed.  For others you have to be a real ogre just to get them to get dressed in the morning.


I have five sons and a daughter and I have to treat each one differently. Sometimes I forget and treat them all the same and they are quite surprised and quite hurt. Each needs me to be something different, something unique for them, something special. As a manager you are a sort of parent to your people and must treat them as individuals.

“You have to be adaptable, ready to change quickly depending on what is required of you.  The perfect manager is the one with the ability to spin on a sixpence….Identify who around you is successful and watch what they do with people”.

I once staged a completely fake loss of temper to get my own way over a fairly trivial matter.  The person for whose benefit the tantrum was put on was so shocked that I was given into immediately.  Now there are quite a few bosses around for whom such behavior would have been intolerable and I would have been shown the door straightaway.

When I was a general manager I always felt I could get the best out of my work force by being fairly pleasant and quite kind. But there were the odd few who didn’t respond to this type of behavior.  They were so entrenched in their old fashioned approach to work that they expected a boss to be a complete bastard and to shout at them and tell them what to do.  And here was me asking them how they were, and what they thought of it all.  They couldn’t cope and I had to be unpleasant to them to get them to respond—different strokes for different folks..

You have to be adaptable, ready to change quickly depending on what is required of you.  The perfect manager is the one with the ability to spin on a sixpence.  Study how you are with people.  Are you always the same, no matter who they are or what is going on?  Do you adapt and change readily and easily?  Identify who around you is successful and watch what they do with people.

(Excerpts from THE RULES OF WORK by Richard Templer Read “Knowing where to hang out and when” from The Rules tomorrow on Asabeafrika)

Rule-to-Work Series

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