Everyone has run into that one person that just keeps getting under their skin and becomes a real difficult person in their world. Being a production manger means that you have to find a way to deal with that person and work thru what is going on. In truth what is difficult to one person n their level is often simply passion and commitment on the part of the other person. Taking the high road and simply ignoring what is happening is often not the safest thing to do in the theater. Here are eight ways to work thru a problem to help resolve conflict. One; be charming as possible even if it kills you. Two; be clear about what the problem really is- state the problem not the solution that is clearly not working. Three; removal the personal investment and feeling that are associated with it to help you remove anger and emotion which never help. Four, avoid judging- there are always at least two if not more perspectives and solutions to whatever is going on. Five; one issue at a time. It is very difficult to deal with solutions and outcomes along with all the varieable of each situation if you are jumping between circumstances. Break it down into chunks and deal with it in pieces. Six; Develop your own view on the situation – Gather all the information from a clear slate with all sides present and ask questions to get to the route of the true problem. Seven; bring options to the table not obstacles and finally number eight. Number Eight is that managers need to get to the Cruxt of the problem and find the win win scenario that makes everyone happy.
Feedback is a very important part of leadership that if done correctly is one of the most helpful tools a production manager can give to the crew so that they can grow and progress forward. It s the ultimate sign of a strong production manager to have people under them get promoted. You want to train your replacement so that you too can be promoted up and beyond the task at hand. When giving the feedback it is always wise to focus on the task at hand, work on the positives, give it out of the ear shot of others and in a timely fashion to the mistake, give it with their permission, be precise and do not infer, balance the positive and the negative, offer suggestions and open a dialog.
In general when managing people it is wise to keep the following in mind; have authority without having to say anything, try not to be what in the session at USITT today one of the presenters called “Emotional Tofu”- which is when you absorb the strongest emotion in the room. Realize that at some point all managers will cry and you need a safe haven where you can turn and that strong manager share the power and authority. It is all about creating a team and using delegation.