Claire writes: “My daughter is learning to drive. I’m sure that she would love it if, one day, the instructor just told her that he had changed roles and become the examiner, and that she had passed her test without even knowing it was happening. At work, we change roles all the time without saying anything.  We flip from manager to mentor, supervisor to friend, non directive to directive.

When we take responsibility to change roles, without asking, we take the power.  If I am doing an appraisal or review and decide that what you really need in response to what you are saying is some deep listening around a specific issue, and I do that without asking, I have sabotaged your review.  I may be right.  But I need to ask or I deny you your review of the last year.  Working out between us what we need to do today and how we will do it is harder work that just doing what we normally do takes more time.  And it is more transformational for all parties.  If you agree with this, and find it hard not to change roles, try sitting in a seat where you don’t normally sit.  It’s amazing how that can help us stay in role!”

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