How to Not Be “That” Manager
June 17, 2013
Mary C. Schaefer
Topicsemotional intelligence, Leadership Development, Management, people management, Self Development
Managers of people can get a bad rap. Sometimes it’s deserved.
As an employee, can you relate to any of these scenarios?
- You receive a series of emails from your boss on the XYZ Project. If he would have read through his inbox, he might see that all his questions are eventually answered. He wouldn’t have had to waste the time writing you, and flooding your inbox.
- You tell your supervisor about this whitepaper you’re reading on the future of recruiting. She suggests this would be great for you to present at the upcoming global leaders meeting. You prepare. When the agenda comes out, your presentation is not on it. When you question your boss, she unconvincingly covers that she had been thinking out loud and didn't mean for you to act on her suggestion.
- Your boss stops in, calls, texts or emails you several times a day, every day, wanting status updates, offering new ideas or asking questions that imply, “have you got my back?”
You might say this behavior is a boss’s prerogative, and employees just need to adjust and go with the flow. Fair enough.
As a manager, do you want to be “right” or do you want to be effective?
A number of my clients have experienced situations like the ones described above. It makes you wonder what’s going on with the manager. It could be overwhelm, insecurity, lack of discipline or all three.
There are those of you who, as managers, are generally thoughtful. You recognize the need to respect another's time, to not interrupt their flow, to not waste their time asking little things several times a day, frittering away their productivity, and maybe even their goodwill toward you.
It's easy to fall into a habit and just call on people casually, while a particular item is on your mind. After all, you don't want to forget whatever it is. But then you lose track of how many times you’ve interrupted them today.
Do you want to be a manager, or do you want to be a leader?
Let’s think about how to break these habits and get a handle on how you are using your time, and impacting those around you. Choose a day to examine your habits. On the appointed day, before you jump with that email or that phone call, consider:
- Why am I making this contact?
- Can I get my need met another way?
- Is this the person I need to contact?
- Will this contact resolve anything?
- Should I save this for a more convenient time?
- What mechanism can I setup to manage these needs this better?
Your employees will thank you. You both will end up being more productive. And a really nice side benefit is that you are modeling to others how to be thoughtful and productive at work.
What do you do, to not be “that” manager?
Image: Public Domain Pictures on Pixabay