CADDManager on January 23rd, 2008

People want and need to have something to look forward to. It gives them a reason for pressing ahead. It provides them with hope that their CAD problems might be answered, the project problems might go away and that the next release of software is actually going to do what it says it will do.

When a CAD Manager speaks, people listen. If you are the CAD Manager, you may not think people are listening, but they are. They listen to what you are excited about, what you are depressed about and what you complain about. They hear what you say and they remember what you promise.

The promises are the focus of this post.

Promises hold a lot of weight with people. You may not be making them outright. You may not be saying “I promise…” but people often take your words as promises. Keep this in mind at all times. Even when you are not “promising” anything, some users will hear it as a promise. There is not really much you can do to prevent some people from holding you to promises you never made except to remind them that you never promised anything.

The topic of this post is to discuss the promises that you do make.

When we speak as a CAD Manager, and we “promise” to get something done, people take it as a contract. They hold you to keeping your word and deadlines. We should be keeping our word as a person with character and integrity.

We offer false hope when we tell someone that something will happen by some certain date and it does not happen. We offer false hope when we say that a problem will be fixed by a specific time and it is not fixed. We offer false hope when we talk about how the next release will be better than this one and it is not (which is totally out of our control).

False hope can degrade positive progress in keeping people motivated and moving. Change is part of our workflow. We are constantly moving people to new software, new tools and new methods. Keeping the hope alive is vital to the change process.

2 Responses to “BAD CAD Manager Habits – Offering False Hope”

  1. I am having a user problem and after reading your “attacking the person”, I might also be part of the problem. So when the user uses the “I didn’t do it” call all of the time, and fails to improve and basis his lack of growth on the CAD manager to managment, when is the right time to comfront the user?

  2. Scott,

    There may not be a good time to confront a user, but here is a way that I have used to get past the “I did not do it” comment.

    Tell the user “I am not trying to find someone to blame. This is not a witch hunt. I am trying to find the root cause of the problem. If it was something that you may have done, then we can discuss ways of avoiding it in the future. If you did not do anything, then we may have a system problem and I need to know what caused it so that others can avoid the problem. ”

    “So, can you tell me what were you doing just before it broke – all by itself?”

    Keep the user talking and eventually you may discover something that might indicate what they did. You may never have the opportunity to correct the behavior, but at least you can narrow down the possible problem.

    Mark W. Kiker

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