Friday, December 2, 2011

Character Management

I came across an old overhead projector cell (remember those?) from a workshop I gave to corporate managers on management styles. I was about to toss it, when I realized that these ten Management Styles could easily define Character Styles, or how a character interacts with the rest of the world. This could be useful for envisioning what a character is like and how to write him or her:

Management by Control (MBC, aka Theory X)
Autocratic, demanding, threatening. Or manipulative, detailed, or use of sanctions.
Management by Walking Around (MBWA)
Letting people see you watching them. Being curious about what they're doing and asking questions that helps them think about the consequences of their actions.
Management by Objective (MBO, aka Theory Y)
Getting others to accept mutually agreeable goals and deadlines.
Management by Listening (MBL)
Getting others to talk to you about their problems and talk them out. Usually the person, if they're interested, will solve their own problems, by you just listening.
Management by Motivation (MBM, aka Carrot Theory)
If you have something others want, barter. Could be for a benevolent or sinister end.
Management by Encouragement (MBE)
 Cheerleader for your goals, or so other will like and follow you.
Management by Exception (MBX)
Ignore anything unless it is really irritating, then use another management style to fix it.
Management by Hearsay (MBH)
Do your research by asking for the opinion of prejudice individuals around you.
Management by Assumption (MBA)
Don't ask. Don't research. Just jump to the conclusions. It's faster.
Management by Theatrics (MBT)
Jump up and down and yell all the time. The sky is falling. 

Take a current script or story project and assign one of the Management Styles to each of your main characters. Are there going to be sparks, or is it a slumber party?

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