Daily Bulletin


News

  • Written by Nathalie Collins, Academic Director (National Programs), Edith Cowan University

The hit sitcom Friends aired for the first time 25 years ago this week. Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe and Joey have not aged on our small screen – and neither has their charm. Make no mistake: these characters were crafted to resonate emotionally and to live on in syndication.

The characters on Friends display a particular sensibility which makes them so appealing: their authenticity, as seen through the prism of their self-awareness. It is through this we are drawn in.

Authenticity is often seen as being something people naturally exude – and yet if this is true, how can characters we know are fictional do such an excellent job of it?

And what can real people, especially in management and leadership roles, learn from fictional characters about crafting an authentic persona?

Here are three very important lessons we can learn about management from Friends.

1. Know your type

Friends showed us instantly accessible characters: the boy-child casanova, the rich girl on hard times, the hippie blonde. From the pilot episode, they align to instantly recognisable clichés. Over time (and subsequent viewings) we get to know their full selves.

Could managers BE any more authentic? 3 ways you can improve your leadership skills by watching Friends We meet Phoebe as the hippie blonde; over time we get to know her whole self. Warner Bros

In the workplace, we are also a type. Professional encounters are often predicated on thin slice judgements that stick. Are you “the pleaser”? Or perhaps “gotta have the last word guy”? We are the architects of our own professional type: in direct encounters, on LinkedIn, and even in how we walk.

Knowing your type can lead to benefits in figuring out how to develop yourself in your industry, and choosing a work environment that’s right for you. It also gives others an accessible way to interact with you until they get to know your full personality.

Instant accessibility is the front door to deeper emotional engagement.

2. Be consistent – but don’t be afraid to grow

Friends characters are consistent enough so we know what to expect from them, but they change over time. Change too much and you are too risky an emotional investment; never change and you are boring and closed minded.

The series charts Rachel’s and Joey’s journeys from bit players on the edges of their dream jobs to career success through a combination of persistence and better choices. Ross and Chandler become less emotionally anxious. Phoebe and Monica move away from the pain of their past into more secure relationships.

Only Gunther remains at the cafe, forlorn and still mooning over Rachel.

Change is natural, yet managers struggle to admit they can learn. The worst example of this can be seen in politicians: blame-shifting, maintaining one’s position when evidence is to the contrary, denying errors made, and always claiming the high ground.

An organisation stuck in stasis through close minded management will rapidly fall behind. Managers who shirk their responsibilities as change agents will face extinction like Ross’s dinosaurs or worse: unemployment.

Could managers BE any more authentic? 3 ways you can improve your leadership skills by watching Friends Managers who don’t embrace change could end up like Ross’s dinosaurs. WarnerBros

The natural instinct is to hide the uncertain and messy process of growth. Yet managers who can navigate the process transparently will enjoy the loyalty of a well informed staff. Someone who believes they cannot learn or change lacks the ability to have relationships that matter - in the workplace or elsewhere.

3. Accept your flaws

The Friends characters are flawed. But they are not just flawed: they know and accept their flaws.

Chandler is aware of his emotional cowardice as he boards a flight to Yemen to avoid a break up. Ross recognises that he was wrong to think he and Rachel were on a break. Monica embraces her competitiveness playing a “to-the-death” ping pong match for hours during what can only be described as a hair-accaine in the tropics. Rachel knows it is wrong to fantasise about her personal assistant.

Striving to be a better person has appeal; perfection does not. As managers our instinct is to be all things to all people – while also being right. This is especially true when confronted with our mistakes.

The rise of “corporate psychopaths” means the human approach stands out in stark relief. Having flaws is human; recognising those flaws and giving yourself room to change and grow openly makes you an accessible and welcoming manager.

Above all: be true

Authenticity takes work. Our friends on Friends make it look easy, funny and natural. In the real workday grind there are pressures of home and life. There is no audience, no laugh track, no quick resolutions. There is no editing in post-production.

But authenticity in the workplace has been found to lead to greater employee engagement, more ethical workplaces, increased productivity and better outcomes on almost every measure.

Could managers BE any more authentic? 3 ways you can improve your leadership skills by watching Friends Friends started airing 25 years ago, but it still has a lot to teach us. Warner Bros

The postmodern father of authenticity, Lionel Trilling, describes it as being “true to oneself”. If you aren’t sure what that means sit back, relax, and check out Friends again. Enjoy the laughs.

And improve your management skills while you’re at it.

Authors: Nathalie Collins, Academic Director (National Programs), Edith Cowan University

Read more http://theconversation.com/could-managers-be-any-more-authentic-3-ways-you-can-improve-your-leadership-skills-by-watching-friends-123600

Writers Wanted

My best worst film: dubbed a crass Adam Sandler comedy, Click is a deep meditation on relationships

arrow_forward

As the Queensland campaign passes the halfway mark, the election is still Labor's to lose

arrow_forward

The Conversation
INTERWEBS DIGITAL AGENCY

Politics

Prime Minister Interview with Kieran Gilbert, Sky News

KIERAN GILBERT: Kieran Gilbert here with you and the Prime Minister joins me. Prime Minister, thanks so much for your time.  PRIME MINISTER: G'day Kieran.  GILBERT: An assumption a vaccine is ...

Daily Bulletin - avatar Daily Bulletin

Did BLM Really Change the US Police Work?

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has proven that the power of the state rests in the hands of the people it governs. Following the death of 46-year-old black American George Floyd in a case of ...

a Guest Writer - avatar a Guest Writer

Scott Morrison: the right man at the right time

Australia is not at war with another nation or ideology in August 2020 but the nation is in conflict. There are serious threats from China and there are many challenges flowing from the pandemic tha...

Greg Rogers - avatar Greg Rogers

Business News

Important Instagram marketing tips

Instagram marketing is one of the most important approaches for digital advertisers. If you want to promote products online, then Instagram along with Facebook is the perfect option. After Faceboo...

News Co - avatar News Co

Top 3 Accident Law Firms of Riverside County, CA

Do you live in Riverside County and faced an accident and now looking for a trusted Law firm to present your case? If yes, then you have come to the right place. The purpose of the article is to...

News Co - avatar News Co

3 Ways to Keep Your Business Safe with Roller Shutters

If you operate your business in a neighbourhood or city that is not known for being a safe environment, it is not surprising if you often worry about the safety of your business establishments o...

News Co - avatar News Co



News Co Media Group

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion