Take Command

Written by Pam Chambers


“Marcie” is a new human resources specialist who leads monthly new employee orientation sessions. She feels intimidated when her boss is in the room observing her.

She asked me, “How can I prevent my boss from intimidating me?” I said, “Wrong question. The right question is, ‘How can I prevent myself from being intimidated?'”

This deceptively simple change of wording changes the focus. Instead of Marcie being a victim, she can now take charge.

There are several answers to her new and improved question, but here is my favorite:

Postion her boss as a helpful ally rather than a dreaded threat. She could say, “We are fortunate today to have Ms. Boss with us. Ms. Boss, later on in the session, I’d like to get your viewpoint about _______.”

Ms. Boss will feel flattered. You will have gained command of how to use her, to everyone’s best advantage.





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