However, I flip the Bozo bit when I receive a message from someone as I did this morning on LinkedIn:
Based on your profile, we think you could benefit greatly from earning certification like CSM.
You might not know my professional qualifications—I wrote books that some CSM trainers use.
I immediately flipped the bozo bit on that person. I’m not sure it took me even a nanosecond.
Esther and I described the Bozo bit in Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management like this:
When people are clueless and annoying, we flip the Bozo bit on them.
It only took one clueless—and annoying!—sentence for me to flip the Bozo bit on the person.
I am sure I have been a Bozo before. (Insert big sigh.)
Since I don’t want to be a Bozo, I try to:
- Do the research on a person’s background. Especially online. This happened to be a LinkedIn request, which I find very funny. If the person had read my profile, I suspect they would not have led with that sentence.
- Avoid making assumptions.
- Ask questions first.
When I start with questions, a place of curiosity, I am less likely to be a Bozo.
However, flipping the Bozo bit depends on my history with a person.
Assess the Experience You Have With This Person
My questions are different when I have experience with a person.
- Is this behavior in or out of character?
- Does this person’s behavior often tempt me to flip the Bozo bit?
I am way too human. The more negative experience I have with a person, the more likely I am to flip the Bozo bit.
I do try to reset my experiences every so often. Sometimes, I succeed.
However, if this person’s behavior tends to be clueless or annoying, I tend to flip the Bozo bit even faster.
I had no experience with this person this morning. And my first experience is that they don’t take the time to read my experience or publications. That lack of basic reading and research annoyed me. The person showed me they were clueless. I flipped the Bozo bit.
That’s the question this week: What causes you to flip the Bozo bit on someone?
- Do You Think About Spending or Investing Time?
- How Do You Work to Increase Your Self-Esteem?