I’m the manager at a small restaurant and we are expecting a huge dinner rush for the night. It is 4 pm in the afternoon and the cook calls in sick. How do I respond?
It depends on how the situation occurs for me. If I think the employee is not really sick and has an attitude problem, I may respond angrily. Or I perceive him/her as being lazy or indifferent, and I attempt to micromanage and control. Maybe I believe that the employee is trying to make a statement, “I always work hard, it’s time for someone else to step up,” – and I might react defensively, pleadingly or be extremely ticked off.
Here’s an illustration of three different lenses:
Has anyone seen my leading glasses?
Oh, here they are. Not perfectly clean and there will probably be a newer model soon, but they work better than what I’ve tried on so far.
As the situation is occurring (cook calling in sick), the framework of my leading glasses makes me aware of the following:
2. Has the employee said everything he/she wanted to say? What information did I miss (“strongly held positions, views, opinions, rationalizations, justifications, judgments, significant history, anything else” the employee or I are stuck with)?
3. In order to live into a better future, a future where cooks calling in sick does not create mayhem, what needs to change today?
4. Will the employee be fulfilled working here? Do we share a future vision?
Using this lens, I am not left feeling desperate, but open and ready to act.