Matt role modelling leadership behaviour with an ethnically representative sample of colleagues

Things have changed around the house a little since Matt began his MBA program and started taking leadership courses at work.

Matt: Rebecca, are you right for a quick 1:1 in about 15 minutes?

Bec: Why are you calling me Rebecca? And we’re sitting at the kitchen table together, I can talk now, what’s wrong?

Matt: Oh I’m sorry, I thought Rebecca was your preferred name. My apologies. I’ve just a few more things to get through now, however we can meet in the lounge room if you’re not comfortable here, and would prefer some privacy?

Bec: Privacy from who? Molly?

Matt: Does 15 minutes suit you?

Bec: I guess so, yes.

Matt: Good, I look forward to speaking with you then. In the meantime, my door is always open.

Bec: ?

15 minutes later

Matt: I’m free to meet now if it’s convenient?

Bec: Yeah okay, what did you want to talk about?

Matt: Well, how have you felt your last week has gone?

Bec: What do you mean?

Matt: Do you feel this relationship is meeting expectations?

Bec: What? And why are you speaking with your hands like Marco from Mastchef?

Matt: Does my body language make you uncomfortable? I can totally understand why you might feel that way. I’ve already taken the trouble of developing a body language matrix and will endeavour to adjust my physical communication strategy to better align with your needs. Would you class yourself as an octopus or a squirrel?

Bec: I’m just going to watch TV now.

Matt: Is there anything I can be doing better to help you reach your short and long-term goals?

Bec: My goal at the moment is to keep watching this episode of SeaChange. Can you please go away?

Matt: If you were a colour, what colour would you be?

Bec: I’d be piss off.

Matt: I’ll put that down as yellow. But I’m sensing some hostility here, and that’s okay, because I’ve separated your behaviour, from you, the person. And I’ve diagnosed you as a relationship developmental level three – medium skill, still requiring a fluctuating level of support.

Bec: Great, I think I might separate me, the wife, from you, the husband today.

Matt: Tell me more about why you feel that way. And please, call me Matthew.

Bec: Who is the HR manager in our marriage? I wish to file a complaint.


Cooking and Cleaning

Bec: Darling, I think we need to talk.

Matt: Uh-oh. Is this about the wee on the floor?

Bec: No, what wee on the floor?

Matt: Nothing. What do you want to talk about?

Bec: What wee on the floor?

Matt: I was just going to say, it wasn’t me, it was Molly. We left the toilet door open and her newspaper was too damp so she went into the toilet and peed on the floor instead. It was right in front of the bowl. I didn’t want you blaming me.

Bec: Well why didn’t you clean it up?

Matt: I forgot.

Bec: Yes, well, on that, I want to talk about me doing more jobs around the house.

Matt: *cough*

Bec: What do you mean “*cough*”

Matt: Nothing. Is this a test? What’s the right answer?

Bec: There’s no right answer. I haven’t even told you what I’m talking about or asked you a question yet.

Matt: In that case, I think you do a perfect amount of jobs around the house. And I love you. And you’re very pretty.

Bec: It’s not a test. That’s not what I’m getting at.

Matt: It really does sound like a test. Like when you say, “Do you like this dress?”

Bec: It’s not a test.

Matt: Because you are very clean, and I do appreciate everything you do around the house. You’re a very good cleaner. You could be a professional cleaner if you wanted to, you’re that good.

Bec: No, look, what I was about to say is – you make a lot of mess every time you cook, and I actually end up resenting your cooking, because it means at least an hour and a half cleaning job for me the next morning. Which is the reason I often suggest pizza home delivery. Every night.

Matt: You don’t like my cooking?

Bec: No, I do like your cooking, I just don’t like the mess you make. Remember how you’re banned from cooking at your parents’ house?

Matt: They just don’t like it when I put chilli in things.

Bec: No, they just don’t like it when you put chilli in their carpet.

Matt: Why don’t you like my cooking?

Bec: I do like your cooking, even when you put vegetables in things. You’re getting very good at hiding them.

Matt: Did you like that beurre blanc sauce I made the other night? You couldn’t even see the carrots underneath it.

Bec: Yes, I did. Thank you. But that’s a good example of what I’m saying – you left the butter on the bench overnight and you burnt the pan a little bit. Only a little bit, it was very tasty, but it was really hard to clean up.

Matt: It wasn’t burnt, it just had colour. That’s what the French do. Like on Masterchef professionals the other night. Remember, with the blowtorch?

Bec: Yes, OK, ‘colour’. Look, darling, your cooking is lovely, but I’m just wondering if maybe we can swap jobs. So, instead of you doing all the cooking and me doing all the cleaning, maybe you could do the cooking, and you could clean the kitchen bench and sink, and I could do some other regular jobs instead of cleaning the kitchen.

Matt: I can think of a few regular ‘jobs’ you could do.

Bec: Thanks. Are you 15?

Matt: You don’t even know what I was referring to.

Bec: You said “jobs” in baritone, and pointed to your crotch. Anyway, how about you stick to the cleaning the kitchen. You’re used to that space, and I’ll do the bins, in addition to my regular cleaning.

Matt: OK, but I just want to make clear that I actually do other cleaning as well.

Matt and Carmen Electrolux

Bec: Darling, the only time you’ve seen the underside of a toilet seat is when you pee all over it, and the only time you’ve touched the vacuum cleaner is when you brought it inside, in its box, declaring that you had an “amazing present” for me. Oh, and the time you posed with it after we named it ‘Carmen Electrolux’.

Matt: OK, I’ll look after the kitchen.

Bec: Really? Deal?

Matt: Yes. Deal.

Bec: Oh thank you sweetheart. I can even do the grocery shopping if you like.

Matt: No, I’ll do that. Last time you did the shopping you got the wrong butter, the wrong fish and you got spring onions instead of shallots.

Bec: What do you mean the ‘wrong’ butter?

Matt: You have to get the butter with the Masterchef logo on it.

Bec: I see. Is it different is it?

Matt: Yes, it has a logo.

Bec: I see. Alright. So, what are we going to have for dinner tonight, as the first dinner of the new system?

Matt: Microwave popcorn. Do we have any paper plates?