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1. Intimidating vs Approachable

Debrief activity and questions

1. Please begin by sharing with each other or writing down (if you are on your own), a few of the messages from the video that stayed with you. What ideas stuck? Which ideas made more sense for you, or somehow struck a chord?

2. Now, draw three(3) horizonal lines on a page and on each line, write intimidating on the far left, and approachable on the far right.
Each line represents a different group. You may like to devote one line to your boss, another to your colleagues, and another to those reporting to you. Alternatively, you may like to consider how various family members experience you in relation to this scale.

3. Let’s now discuss the implications of management being experienced as intimidating. Can you recall a time when you had a boss who you experienced as intimidating? It may have been mild or perhaps it was very marked.
What behaviour did they demonstrate that you experienced as intimidating?
What feelings were evoked by that experience? Pause and briefly jot down your response to those two questions now.

How did your behaviour get somehow shaped by working with a boss who you felt was intimidating? For instance, did you withdraw, detach or become combative? Write down your reflections.
Further, what were the unwanted consequences of your behavioural reactions on your ability to achieve your objectives, and the objectives of the team?

4. Recall from the video the practical suggestions to become more approachable.
What practical suggestions are best for you now? For example, if you are up the intimidating end, then watch your outbursts, in the middle then consider talking less and if you are at the approachable end then create forums for richer dialogue.

5. Finally, if time permits, complete the exercise described in the last minute or so of the video. Remember, you don’t have to be the manager to do this exercise. You can do it with any team where you are a member.

Draw a line on the page and write “talks a lot in meetings” down one end, and “talks very little in meetings “down the other end. Plot the members of your team(s) in the graph.

Now, reflect on the data you have created. Consider how you can contribute to, or facilitate a more equal sharing of air time by the members of your team. Remember, achieving the sharing of air space as close to equal as possible helps your team become FAR more effective. Equally shared airspace is a team one of the important signs of an approachable lead.

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