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Thursday Insight: Gavin and Stacey

Thursday Insight: Gavin and Stacey

I was a tad excited when our favourite Barry Island/Essex families returned to the TV this Christmas. As Ness would say, the news was “lush”.

For anyone who watched the original series, you’ll know that Gavin and Stacey ‘met’ via work. The rest, as they say, is (TV) history. 

Aside from the joy and humour that Gavin and Stacey brought to our screens, they also reminded us that, at work, most of us enjoy our interactions with some people more than others.

Sometimes we can clearly articulate why we like or dislike working with someone. But sometimes, the emotional reaction that a colleague or customer inspires is hard to put into words.

How we feel towards people will, however, impact how we interpret their behaviours and how we interact with them. Maybe we have a more positive perception of some employees and so ignore or justify their mistakes. Or maybe we avoid giving development opportunities to a team member that we instinctively don’t trust.

I am reminded of the advice I was given when interviewing job applicants:
“If a candidate is giving you strong vibes (good or bad), ask them questions that give them the opportunity to prove you wrong.”

For example, if a candidate gives you the impression that they’re not very assertive, ask them a question about the time when behaving assertively worked well for them.

This is a technique that can be applied equally well with colleagues and customers. It might be, for example, that the reason one of them is underperforming is because they feel you treat others better than them. Or perhaps they’ve witnessed you turn a blind eye to behaviour in others that you’ve criticised them for. Or, perhaps a ‘favoured’ employee is coasting because you’re not challenging them.

Reflecting on how fair we are to others takes time and self-honesty. But it is worth it and doing so gives us the opportunity to identify where we can improve.

We have got lots of material in Managers’ Library to help you. But a great place to start is our video, Introducing the Johari Window.

January 9 2020 Frances Ferguson
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Frances Ferguson

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