People Who Don’t Like Being Managed

Managers need to be able to handle all manner of people in order to get the results they, and their company, require.

Managing People Who Don’t Like Managers

Wendy Mason Smith is a Life Coach, Career Coach, Business Coach and Writer. You can  contact her, book a  free coaching session, or find out more at this link.


There are lots of people who don’t like being managed. And they can create a real headache for you, the manager. But, let’s remember, if everybody were the same, life would become dull very quickly. And some very talented people don’t like having a “boss.” Unfortunately, lots of managers wish they could pick staff from a standardised ‘worker’ box. Barring complete automation of the workforce, which isn’t a pleasant thought, this isn’t going to happen any time soon.

So, you need to be able to handle all kinds of people, if you are going to succeed. Given that, what are you going do with these awkward souls? They may be supremely talented, but they probably see management as authority to kick back against? Here are some tips.

Tips for Managing People Who Don’t Like Being Managed

1) Put yourself in their shoes

Trying to see things from the other person’s perspective really will help. If you can, check if they have acted like this with other managers. Is it something that started recently?  Or, have they always found authority difficult?

If this is a recent thing, has something changed at work? It is possible that it could be something outside work causing the problem. If you can find out without invading their privacy and see if you can help. But, you will have to think about your own management style and why it might not work for them. Have the confidence to be open and honest. It is important to work out what is happening and if you can work with them to find a solution. Accept that maybe it isn’t them who needs to change. Be flexible in your approach.

2) Embrace conflict

This doesn’t mean you need to enjoy getting into squabbles with your staff. Far from it! But you do need to make sure that you are addressing it in a constructive way. Conflict is almost inevitable at some point. This is so particularly in teams of clever, talented people, grappling with tough issues. If the thought of it fills you with dread, then think carefully whether management is really for you.

Handling conflict in the right way means being open, fair and direct. Do not avoid being open to what is really going on. And do not steamroller your way through. Listen to the issues being presented and look for a constructive outcome. Be prepared to hear all sides. Look for an outcome that will resolve the problem for most, if not all.

3) Make work goals laser focused

Ambiguity can lead to disagreement. It is important to set clear goals for your team. Make sure things are not open to misinterpretation. Ambiguity about goals and what success is supposed to look like, can leave a member of staff feeling cheated.

Be realistic, some organisations do have conflicting objectives, so be as open and honest as you can.  Explain to your staff why things are this way. Ask questions yourself of your own manager to get clarity. 

If your goals should be clear-cut, realistic and suited to your team and their skills.  Tell them how you will measure success. Then it should be clear to all if the goals you set them have been met. Well set targets for your staff raise morale and motivation. They let them know where they stand. It makes the job of evaluating their performance that much easier. If you need need help setting goals, contact me. 

4) Know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em

Having said all that, you may have to take a view on someone’s real value to the organisation. If someone is causing problems long term or causing major disruption, you will need to consider whether they should move on. Is there a department where they may be better suited? Or, do you need to let them go? It doesn’t take long for discontent to spread within a group. Don’t be afraid to act but do consult your HR section, if you have one, and keep an eye on Employment Law.   

It certainly doesn’t mean behaving like a dictator. It does means that if a member of staff has been given as much help/support as you can muster and still causes problems, you must act.  But treat them with respect in the process.

5) Be aware that management is never plain sailing

My last tip is not so much one for handling others, as it is for handling yourself. Knowing that management is a tough job will give you a better perspective. Management isn’t easy. But I do believe that learning to be a good manager means you yourself will be happier at work. And managing people is the greatest learning experience around.

Working with a coach can help you be a better manager. You can get in touch with me at the email address below – I offer a free one-hour trial session by phone or or online.

Wendy Mason Smith is a Life Coach, Career Coach, Business Coach and Writer. You can  contact her, book a  free coaching session, or find out more at this link.

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link


Author: Wendy

Wendy Mason Smith is a Life Coach, Career Coach, Business Coach and Writer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.