Unpleasant and Demanding Managers

Unpleasant and Demanding Managers

Management: Is exploiting your team in your long-term interest?

Advice from Wendy Smith. Wendy is a Career and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on life and your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

Unpleasant and demanding managers – as a life and career coach I often work with clients who are unhappy at work. This can be for all kinds of reasons.  They may be in a job that doesn’t give them an opportunity to use their knowledge, skills and experience and they feel frustrated.  Or, perhaps,  they have been promoted to a new role that is a stretch too far and they are struggling.  Having too much to do and feeling stressed is a regular..  And of course we have all encountered difficult colleagues, to say nothing of unpleasant and demanding bosses.  But there is a point when an unpleasant and demanding boss can slip over the boundary into something much worse; the boss becomes just plain cruel.

Most of us have read about the vile over-seers in the factories of the industrial revolution. Certainly, in the UK, employment law has made their kind of cruelty a thing of the past.

No, what I’m referring to here is a new kind of callousness!.

The economic conditions of the last few years have put great pressure on organizations. For many, the ability to survive in the market place has become the overriding priority.  And the values of the organization become the values of their key employees.

Hard decisions have had to be made!  It can be difficult to hang on to your finer feelings when you have to grapple daily with who to keep and who to let go. For some, feelings for the staff they manage have coarsened.

 Unpleasant and Demanding Managers and Personal Survival

Treating the team as something to be exploited to ensure your personal survival sounds pretty outrageous when put into words.  And there are lots of ways you can avoid facing up to what you are doing . But that is what I am hearing about from some of my clients.

People are being asked to cope with larger and larger workloads in often more unpleasant conditions.  For example, what started out as poor but passable accommodation for a call center now houses as well much of company administration including HR.  For some, natural light is becoming a luxury!

When you complain or ask for help, the manager or supervisor doesn’t want to know – they have their own problems keeping senior management happy.  You risk finding yourself on next week’s hit list of people about to leave.

But it is short sighted really! Bad times will come to an end. When the good times come, what do you, oh mighty manager, think those employees are going to do? Well, they are not going to hang around when they have other opportunities, are they?

At the very least give your employees a hearing and if you can’t do anything right now, have the grace to apologize. And next time you are about demand something from  an employee you know is outrageous, stop and think!  Is the short term gain really in your long term interest?

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in helping people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. She has worked in management as well as coaching and personal development, as well as starting up her own businesses. That means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up a new business or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. 

Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

 

How to Deal with a Passive-Aggressive Colleague

How to Deal with a Passive-Aggressive Colleague

Dealing with Difficult People – Three ways to deal with a passive-aggressive colleague

Advice from Wendy Smith. Wendy is a Career and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on life and your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

Realising you need to deal with a passive-aggressive colleague can make you feel uncomfortable. It can be very frustrating when someone you work with agrees with a plan of action and then goes off to do their own thing. Or you sense that someone really doesn’t agree with what you just said but they say nothing. Sometimes they just make you feel subtly undermined.

Passive aggression can have a number of results including eroding confidence and not being good for harmony in the team.  But it is frequent and it can mean that you do not achieve your own goals. When you have to deal with someone who says one thing and does another or shows some other signs, try this approach.

Three ways to deal with a passive-aggressive colleague

  • Talk to them. Find a quiet private space and explain to your colleague what you’re seeing, hearing and experiencing. Describe the impact of their behaviour on you. Listen to their response and then make your suggestions for how they might change.
  • Focus on work, not the person. You need to get the work done despite your peer’s style. So don’t waste time wishing they would change. Concentrate on completing the work instead.
  • Ask for commitment. At the end of all meetings make sure you ask everyone (not just your difficult colleague) to reiterate what they are going to do and by when. Sometimes peer pressure can keep even the most passive-aggressive person on task.

Passive aggression usually means someone doesn’t have the confidence to assert themselves clearly. It usually reflects an unhappy state of mind. If you get to know this person a little better you just might be able to help them feel more confident at work.

Career coaches and life  coaches like me are around to help you thrive and succeed in challenging times at work or at home. Get in touch at this link – I would like to discuss how I can help you.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in helping people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. She has worked in management as well as coaching and personal development, as well as starting up her own businesses. That means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up a new business or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. 

Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

 

What is empathy?

What is empathy?

Advice from Wendy Smith. Wendy is a Career and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on life and your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

What is empathy? Empathy is the ability to walk in someone else’s shoes for a What is empathy?while and to see the world though their eyes! It means being able to suspend judgement, share their values and see things from their perspective. Empathy is different from sympathy and doesn’t mean feeling sorry for them. But it does mean being able to understand what they are thinking and feeling. You are able to establish trust.

Four different levels of Empathy

Usually empathy is described as being at four different levels of closeness.

Level 0

Level 0  is when there is no evidence that you understand  other person’s thoughts or feelings. This can be despite the efforts of the person to explain what they are thinking and feeling. It can be shown most obviously by callous and unthinking remarks

Level 1

Level 1 is when you have some understanding but at a very superficial level. There is only partial understanding and the other person can feel confused and be lacking in trust as a result.

Level 2

Level 2 is when you show understanding and acceptance. But you don’t have complete understanding or acceptance. Perhaps you don’t “approve” of an opinion the other person expesses instead of quietly accepting that that is their view even though it isn’t yours.

Level 3

Level 3 means you have complete understanding and acceptance for another’s feelings and thoughts. Accepting that someone thinks and feels in a particular way, does not mean that you automatically approve of all behaviour they think is justified as a result. But it does mean that you can communicate with them and may be able to influence them in a positive way. It provides a basis for trust.

You cannot be truly empathetic with someone without listening and observing verbal and body messages.  You then show through your own voice and body language that you have understood. In other words you have to listen actively.

The ability to show empathy is important in building strong relaionships at home and at work. An empathetic manager is far more likely to lead their team to success and to create a happy workplace.

Career coaches and life  coaches like me are around to help you thrive and succeed in challenging times. Get in touch at this link – I would like to discuss how I can help you.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in helping people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. She has worked in management as well as coaching and personal development, as well as starting up her own businesses. That means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up a new business or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. 

Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

 

Giving Feedback to an Unsuccessful Candidate

Giving Feedback to an Unsuccessful Candidate

Advice from Wendy Smith; Career Coach and author of The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book – order on Amazon

Giving feedback – in all kinds of situations you may need to give feedback to someone about something they have said or done. This could be an employee, a work colleague or a business partner. Here the  advice is targetted at giving feedback to an unsuccessful candidate. But most of the advice holds good in other work situations.

1. Prepare for the discussion. Be clear about what you want to say and make sure you can support it with evidence.
2. During the discussion think before you speak! Don’t make ad hoc remarks that imply, for example, that you personally would have made a different decision.
3. Stay positive. This doesn’t mean not giving constructive criticism about gaps but do make sure you balance criticisms with clarity about what you did like.
4. Be specific. Avoid general comments and try to be as clear and simple as you can!
5. Focus on evidence presented of competence and not the person and their personality.
6. Stay in the neutral ground emotionally but accept that it is reasonable for the candidate to feel disappointed.
7. Own the feedback. If you have been part of the interviewing panel, then own the feedback, it is about “we” not about “the panel.”
8. Empathize. Always put yourself in the other person’s shoes! Think how you would feel receiving the same information! No room here for humiliation!

Giving feedback – are you advising a job seeker?

Are they stuck in their job search? Have they have been out of the job market for a while? There are new techniques to learn and some they will need to refresh. From writing a modern CV to wooing at the interview, you’ll find lots of tips in my handy little pocket book.

giving feedback
A concise and practical little workbook. For all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

A concise and practical little workbook. For all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

Find this and my other books on my Amazon page at this link; http://ow.ly/BRSAL

Remember working with a career coach can really help job search. Get in touch at the Facing a mid-career dilemmaemail address below – I offer a free half hour trial session by phone or Skype.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. 

Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book your free 30 minute, no obligation, trial coaching session with Wendy Smith now at this Link 

Leading Teams Through Conflict

Leading Teams Through Conflict

Advice from Wendy Smith; Career Coach and author of How To Get On With The Boss and The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book – order on Amazon

Leading Teams Through Conflict – when a new group comes together all kinds of tensions may arise. Team members will begin to debate how to go forward. What are the priorities going to be?  Who is going to take which role in the team? What systems and processes will you put in place? At this point your leadership skills are important.

Differences of opinion and beliefs can lead to conflict. And team members may begin to jockey for position. Power struggles can break out, particularly if you have a number of strong personalities vying to lead. They may begin to challenge you as group leader. And cliques may form. 

Leading Teams Through Conflict – where to start

So what can you do? The team needs to be focused on its goals to avoid becoming distracted by relationship and emotional issues. Some compromises will need to be made. You will need to help them find the middle ground. 

A good way to start is to make sure that all are clear about the goal. Show them the real benefits of what you are trying to do. There needs to be lots of communication. The group has to understand the importance of the task, the processes needed and their roles. 

If all is going well, the group will move on to agree some “norms” for working together.

If you still have tensions

But, if you still have tensions, set down the ground rules for group behaviour.  Get the group to agree that they should treat each other with respect. You will need to keep a close eye on the debate. If it is about ideas, that is a good sign and they can be left to work it out if time allows. But, if the debate becomes personal then you will need to intervene. Don’t suppress conflict completely because the group will stagnate. They will not learn to work together very well if you suppress debate. This is where planning social events can help. These give people an opportunity to see each other in a more rounded way. 

If necessary, tighten up the goals and targets. Get the group to focus very sharply upon them. Make sure they understand the benefits which will be lost if people are not ready to compromise and reach agreement. If cliques have formed, try putting people to work with others outside their chosen subgroup. This is so that new relationships can be established. 

With your leadership, the team will come together and meet their goals. 

Other resources to help you

You will find lots of other tips on team leadership on my blog. Try this link.”

Leading Teams Through Conflict
A concise and practical little workbook. For all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

If you are looking for a new job, you can find help for your job search in the “The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book: How to Win Jobs and Influence Recruiters.” Find this and my other books on my Amazon page at this link; http://ow.ly/BRSAL .

Remember working with a career coach can really help you be successful. Get in touch at the Facing a mid-career dilemmaemail address below – I offer a free half hour trial session by phone or Skype. Meanwhile I wish you every success in your job search.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

 

People Who Don’t Like Being Managed

People Who Don’t Like Being Managed

Managing People Who Don’t Like Managers

There are people who don’t like being managed. If everybody were the same, life would become dull pretty quickly. People Who Don’t Like Being ManagedHowever, plenty of managers wish they could pick staff from a standardized ‘worker’ box. Barring complete automation of the workforce, this isn’t going to happen.

Managers need to be able to handle all manner of people in order to get results. So, what do you do with those awkward souls who are supremely talented but see management as authority to kick back against? You use the following tips, that’s what! Let’s get started.

Tips for Managing People Who Don’t Like Being Managed

1) Put yourself in their shoes

Seeing things from the other party’s perspective may give you an insight into why they are so difficult to manage. Firstly, check whether they have always acted in this way. Is it something that has started recently or have they always found authority difficult?

If it is a recent thing and there could be an external cause for the difficulties. Perhaps it could even be your particular management style! You need to be open and honest. It is important to work out what is happening. May be it isn’t the employee who needs to change.

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 the right way. Conflict is inevitable in management. If the thought of it fills you with dread then you are likely in the wrong job.

Handling conflict in the right way means being fair and direct. Do not avoid it. And definitely do not steamroller your way through it. Listen to the issues being presented and look for a constructive outcome. Look for an outcome that will resolve the problem at hand.

3) Make work goals laser focused

In order to remove any ambiguity that could result in a disagreement, it is important to set clear goals and objectives for your staff. Failing to do so leaves things open to misinterpretation. And that could result in a member of staff feeling as though they are being poorly treated.

If your goals are clear-cut there is no room for argument. They’ve either been met or they haven’t. Setting proper targets for your staff lets them know where they stand. It makes the job of evaluating their performance that much easier.

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

Computers in Personnel can help with the recruitment process but it takes time to find out exactly how someone operates in the field, as it were. Regardless of their talent, staff still need to be able to listen and heed what they are being told to do. If someone is being overly problematic, you will need to check whether they are becoming too much of a liability to the organization as a whole. It doesn’t take long for discontent to spread in an office environment. So you need to take action as soon as possible.

However, this doesn’t mean behaving like a dictator either. It simply means that if a member of staff has been given a as much help/support as you can and still continues to cause problems, you have to assess their worth to the organization. Of course any action needs to take account of your HR policy and Employment Law.

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 that’s why you are getting paid more than your team. Simply being aware of this fact can lighten the load considerably. It can free you up to do what you do best, managing people.

Working with a coach really can help you be a better manager. Get in touch at the email address below – I offer a free half hour trial session by phone or Skype.
Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

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

         

Job Interview – Say Thank You After

Job Interview – Say Thank You After

job interviewJob Interview – say thank you after by email, letter or even by text but you can’t avoid it.  It has become so much of a custom that some employers think less of you, if you don’t do it.

Send your thanks within 24 hours of being interviewed, if you can, and you need to tailor your letter it to suit the organization!  The style should reflect the kind of organization and the type of interview you’ve had; a formal process requires a formal response.

If you are not sure what to write, then you can use a thank you letter template as a guide.

Your letter is a chance to emphasize what a good fit you are for the job.  Even, if you have decided the organization is not one you want to join, still send polite thanks. Who knows what the future holds?

You can use the letter to reinforce what a good fit you are for the job, now that you know more about it.  And your letter is a good opportunity to flag up things they need to know but didn’t ask at the interview. You can add what you didn’t mention or make something clearer.

If you have some information that might be useful to them or thoughts on helping to solve an issue they raised, that can make you to stand out from the crowd.

Some people recommend writing to everyone you spoke to in the organization. But, personally, I prefer to write to the person who is leading job search within the organization.

Remember to proof-read your letter carefully – nothing is more off-putting than reading a letter from a candidate that includes typos. If you are not sure of the spelling of names and the correct titles, then ring the organization to check.

Timing comes before creative brilliance – get your letter in as soon as you can – most organizations make their minds up about interviewees pretty quickly.

Working with a coach really can make your job search zing! Get in touch at the email address below.
Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

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

         

Difficult boss – here is help

Difficult boss – here is help

 Difficult boss - here is help

We’ve all had them, those cranky bosses who make life difficult! It isn’t easy working for a difficult boss.

I’m not talking about bullies. I’m talking here about people who find it difficult to get on with other people but end up in charge of others.  In a fair world they wouldn’t be there, but no one said that life was fair?

These cranky bosses create lots of stress in the workplace. If you have one and manage a team yourself, it’s up to you to relieve the stress. Then you will all be able to concentrate on the real job.

If you want to stay, you are going to have to find a way to work with your cranky boss. So, you need a strategy.

Here are some tips;

Find a common interest.  How much do you know about your boss?  See what you can find out.  What are they interested in?  Where have they come from and where do they want to go?  What are they trying to achieve in this role?  See if you can find some common ground.

Show how you can help them. If you are good at your job, don’t let your boss feel you are competing with them. Make sure what you do supports them. Work hard not to resent them getting credit for your hard work.

Don’t jump to conclusions. 
Try to keep an open mind, don’t start to assume that your boss is going to be difficult about everything. Start expecting and behaving as if your boss is going to behave reasonably until he/she proves otherwise.

Stand between the boss and your team. Recognize it is your job to protect them. Make sure their contribution is recognized and stand up for them when you need to.

If your boss becomes emotional, stay calm. 
Acknowledge the emotion, for example; “I understand that you are upset.” But try not to become upset yourself. Don’t react with emotion to emotional outburst. Try to show understanding without being patronizing.

Keep focused on the work and what needs to be done Address the problem and sort out practical solutions and some options. Reassure your boss that you are going to solve the problem if you can.

Manage your own emotions. 
You might find yourself getting angry or upset with your boss. Take some deep breaths concentrating on breathing out, then count to ten.  If necessary take some timeout and go to the bathroom.  Do whatever you need to do to calm down.

Stay real. If you have a difficult boss, remember, the problem is about them, not you.

Build the relationship

Do your best to build a relationship that works with your boss.  If you can’t, then only you know whether it is worth staying around.  Long term low morale does erode confidence. And if the boss’s behaviour slides into bullying you need to take advice –in the UK you can ring the National Bullying Help Line on 0845 22 55 787.

Use the power of good relationship building before and during all negotiations with your difficult boss. People sometimes forget than former opponents often make the strongest allies. You may find that a well-managed approach, working things through with your boss and trying to see their point of view, will earn their respect over time. It may even mean you get that promotion!

I’ve written an eBook on how to get on with your boss. You can find it at this link.  Working with a coach really can help in these kind of situations – my email address is below.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

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

         

Toxic Manager – how to respond

Toxic Manager – how to respond

Danger – Red Light flashing. Toxic Manager About!

How well do you get on with your manager? Easy question really, isn’t it? You would be surprised how many people are not clear about the answer. They don’t know what the manager/team leader/supervisor really thinks about them, or the work they do. Sometimes, this is because they, themselves, lack the communication skills necessary to understand the message the manager is sending. Sometimes, it is because the manager doesn’t communicate well with the rest of the team.

Getting on well with the boss matters hugely in terms of your career success. Plus, the stress caused when things go wrong can have a negative effect on your health and well-being. Stress can lead to anxiety and depression which in turn affect life at home as well as at work.

You can find out how you’re doing by listening and watching how the person in charge behaves. You need to observe not only how they behave with you, but also how they behave with other people. It is easier, of course, if you have frequent contact with your manager. But, even if you do not, you can try to learn as much as possible about them and how they behave from others. Ask your questions with care, though, you don’t want it to get back that you think you may have a problem.

Here is a mini-health-check based on one in my little eBook; “How to Get on With Boss.”  It will help you get clearer about the relationship climate in your workplace.

Signs that all is well;

  • You belong to a happy team who work well together
  • You feel accepted by all
  • Each day your manager greets you and the others by name
  • Everyone feels at ease with him/her
  • You get regular and constructive feedback from your manager
  • You are not worried about asking for help when you need it
  • If something does go wrong you feel you can tell your manager about it and get a reasonable response.

If most of these things are happening for you, all is well and you are getting on well with our manager. Celebrate because, unfortunately, I suspect you are one of the happy few.

Signs that all is not well;

  • The team is generally unhappy
  • Everyone moans about your manager
  • The manager doesn’t seem to know who you are
  • The manager doesn’t seem to want to know anything about you
  • They don’t offer support
  • Feedback, if you get it, is definitely not positive
  • People are afraid to ask for help
  • Everyone is frightened of telling the boss when something goes wrong
  • People feel threatened
  • There is lots of gossip but no one really knows what is going on “up the line” or elsewhere in the organization

Signs like this mean that all is not well. Neither you, nor the other members of the team, are getting on with the person in charge. You need to take action to ensure your toxic manager doesn’t damage you, your career, your health or your happiness. You can find out more about my little eBook at this link.

Working with a coach really can help you be a better manager. Get in touch at the email address below – I offer a free half hour trial session by phone or Skype.
Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

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

         

Motivation for Managers and Entrepreneurs – Quotes

motivation for managers

Motivation for Managers and Entrepreneurs – Quotes

Here are some quotes to inspire motivation for managers and entrepreneurs.

  • My mentor said, “Let’s go do it” not “You go do it.” How powerful when someone says, “Lets!” Jim Rohn
  • The most powerful and predictable people-builders are praise and encouragement. Brian Tracy
  • Reinforce what you want to see repeated. What gets rewarded gets done. Brian Tracy
  • We cannot build our own future without helping others to build theirs. Bill Clinton
  • Managing is like holding a dove in your hand. Squeeze too hard and you kill it, not hard enough and it flies away. Tommy Lasorda 
  • Encourage your people to be committed to a project rather than just be involved in it. Richard Pratt
  • A manager is an assistant to their people. Thomas J Watson
  • The one word that makes a good manager – decisiveness Lee Iacocca
  • Develop your people. Focus on their strengths. Then make high demands based on a person’s strengths. Finally, periodically view their performance Peter Drucker
  • Success in management is when those you manage succeed, and the organization you work for succeeds. Unknown
  • People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success. Norman Vincent Peale

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

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