The CEO of a software company met with her vice presidents to plan the agenda for the annual all-employee meeting. The purpose of the meeting each year is to update and energize the 120 employees of the organization. The CEO’s address is the capstone of the meeting. One vice president conducted the meeting and it all progressed according to plan until the website update came up. The woman giving the update had worked with the company less than six months. However, she was very experienced, well spoken and clear in her presentation. The sales team started asking questions one after another with increasing criticism about the new direction the website was taking, worried they were not being given their due. The woman responded intelligently but the atmosphere became emotionally charged and time was quickly slipping away. It was clear the sales team was hijacking the meeting.
A Red CEO operating in her strengths would quickly take opportunity to stop the “piling on” and redirect the meeting. Reds are not intuitive by nature but they generally keep themselves informed regarding those who work with them. The first question from the sales team would alert her to the direction the meeting might take. After the second or third question, she would interrupt the discussion. With a very direct approach, she would remind everyone of the purpose of the current meeting and suggest scheduling a separate meeting to address the specific concerns of the sales team. Her tone would be professional and matter-of-fact, communicating that she is still in charge of the meeting.
A Red with an abundance of limitations could handle this situation a couple of different ways. As the sales team continued questioning the woman giving the update, the CEO might allow it. She could easily see the piling on but might use it as a test of the new employee. If the woman giving the update was rattled and emotional, the CEO would lose respect for her. If she handled the overload of questions with logic and spunk, the CEO might consider her for promotion. Another possibility is that the CEO would interrupt the questioning but do so with an authoritarian tone. She could take opportunity to put the sales team in its place and she might just step into the argument to teach them a lesson about trying to usurp her authority to run the meeting.
A Blue CEO operating in her strengths would take the opportunity to remind everyone that being tactful and open is the key to getting solutions. Blues are willing to allow conversations to take their course, as they want everyone to have their say. With that being said, the CEO understands that time is precious in the corporate world. In true Blue fashion, you may see this type of CEO reduce or even eliminate her address in order to make time for this issue. Commitment is key to Blues, and they will go to great lengths to ensure that there is a personal level to all encounters they have. Although the meeting has turned from its original course, the Blue CEO will remain focused in helping her employees gain what is needed to advance.
In the end, the connections made are worth setting aside an address. The Blue CEO will harness the opportunity to connect with her employees, and a situation like this is a perfect example of what drives Blues. In the end, helping supersedes being the center of focus. The Blue CEO will always find a way to help her team succeed, and in doing so, show what a great experience it is to connect. By allowing others to become the focus, the Blue CEO leads toward what is expected and needed, building the cornerstone for success within the company.
A White operating from her strengths would be very accommodating in this situation. The clarity of a White is key to their success. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly a White can break something down, especially a situation that is spiraling towards an explosive end. Although Whites are not known to be vocal, when they are vocal they cut through the mud and find solutions in a very peaceful manner. Most likely the White CEO would accommodate both parties in this situation. No White I have ever encountered wants to be put on the spot. They operate from peace and don’t want to be ridiculed publicly. That being the case, the White CEO would make comments commanding respect from both parties.
Because Whites are logic-based, the sales group would probably be asked to direct their questions in a manner that is calm and to the point. This is the beauty of the White, and anyone lucky enough to have a healthy White leading them is in a great place. In the end, the White CEO would allow for Q&A from both sides, but would request a meeting to be set for further discussion. The CEO would then conclude the meeting with her address, and in the true fashion of the White personality, nail the speech, leaving the employees in awe of how the CEO handled what could have been a very messy meeting.
A Yellow CEO is armed with a variety of strengths to help her handle the situation positively. For starters, the capacity for Yellows to accept others and see the best in them would help create a positive tone in the meeting. When the questioning of the new employee started the highly verbal Yellow could step into the exchange and, with good humor, bring the discussion to an end. Yellows are often not given credit for their intuitive ability to read others and situations accurately. The Yellow would readily sense the sales team frustration and the discomfort of the woman giving the update. Then with charisma typical of yellows, she could quickly and easily diffuse the difficulty and get the meeting back on track.
Yellow limitations could get in the way of this situation in a number of ways. Yellows avoid confrontation. If the questioning took on a contentious tone, a Yellow with this limitation might just let it go on to avoid getting in the middle of the mess. In doing so she could avoid displeasing both the sales team and the new employee. Another limitation that could yield a poor result is the tendency to interrupt and not stay focused. The Yellow CEO could quickly and easily interrupt the exchange with the sales team. However, just as easily a Yellow might start chattering on about the situation under discussion and lose the focus of the meeting. In this scenario, the meeting time would slip away and the rest of the agenda would be lost.