“I am taking over a new department,” explained Ellen. “It’s not a promotion, just a new department. I heard through the grapevine that some people are off-balance wondering what life is going to be like under my direction. Two people said they might quit. How do I let them know that I am not going to be some micro-managing monster?”
“You could wear a sign,” I suggested.
Ellen laughed. “Be serious. I want to let them know that I am not some control freak boss.”
“It sounds backward,” I started, “but instead of telling them about you, why don’t you find out about them?”
Ellen looked puzzled.
“Look, you may be under the microscope. If you become genuinely interested in each of your team members, you will accomplish two things. First, the focus will immediately shift away from you. Second, asking questions about them will speak volumes about you.”