The last time I saw “The Devil Wears Prada”, I enjoyed the film. However, I was horrified by the way Miranda Priestly (played by Meryl Streep) spoke to her assistants!
I said out loud, “She REALLY needs a Trello board!”
As well as being a little bit mean to work for, Miranda’s disorganisation and sheer lack of communication skills made her a bit of a nightmare…
Miranda is a major fan of barking orders, one after the other with no space for even a breath! She just brain-dumps everything in her own head onto her assistant(s) all at once, not even giving them time to write anything down, or ask questions – and expecting them to just retain a massive volume of tasks.
When poor Andrea asks Emily about the Task ‘Skirts’, she is told: “You don’t ask Miranda *anything*!”
So, not only are these assistants expected to remember everything – they are also supposed to be telepathic…
Alongside the lack of communication and the disorganisation, there is the sheer lack of boundaries. Andrea is interrupted by Miranda constantly whilst with her father, friends and boyfriend. The expectations on her surpass those of any ‘normal job’.
I couldn’t have been more pleased when she threw her mobile phone in a fountain during one of the final scenes.
She put an end to being constantly phoned At All Hours whilst in bed, at dinner and even at The Theatre throwing Andrea into a panic with her Unrealistic Expectations.
Then there is The Book. The book is delivered every night to Miranda’s house by her 2nd Assistant and returned the next day with her ‘notes’.
Surely, even back in 2006, there was a more efficient way of collaborating??!
Miranda Needed Me!
If I could go back to 2006 and spend an hour with Miranda (and she was willing to listen to my advice!), I would tell her the following:
⭐Get all of the tasks you wish to outsource out of your head and into a Project Management Tool (such as Trello)
⭐Assign those tasks to the correct people with clear expectations and deadlines
⭐Use an effective communication method, such as Slack to communicate with staff and keep different subjects separate
⭐ Add detail e.g. What sort of skirts? 🤣
⭐Use face-to-face meetings to build relationships with staff, discuss any queries, answer questions and assess progress of said tasks
⭐ Respect your employee’s Right To Have a Life! If you want to send a task via email, use the Schedule Send facility for work hours only or – even better – pop them into your Project Management Tool
Miranda may not have thanked me for pointing out where she could improve, but Andrea and Emily would have loved me!
Have you ever worked for a Miranda Priestly? Or do you dare admit that you see yourself in Miranda?
If you would love to know more about how to work effectively with others, whilst maintaining a Life Of Your Own, book in for a Beat The Frog Session.