Lab management is heavily about interpersonal skills. In the same way I find it’s easiest to learn from extreme cases – nuclear facilities, the military, NASA etc. – you can learn a lot about interpersonal skills from the extremes.
In this case I’m talking about bouncing. Bouncing is about as extreme as you may get, this side of prison wardens. Bouncers deal with people who are naturally letting themselves go. A good place to learn how to deal with stress.
I like these videos involving Marc MacYoung:
Listen to how he describes dealing with “toughs”. I use a similar approach dealing with various people and various interests in the lab and outside.
“Listen, I’m here to help you. If there are any problems, you come to me. We’ll get it sorted and keep it in-house. And if you come to me with any problems at all, I’ll have your back when it comes to dealing with the brass.”
This method is effective, and it works.