Bad Boss: Are you exploiting your team?

Bad Boss: Are you exploiting your team?

Are you a bad boss? As a life and career coach I sometimes have 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. Sadly the bad boss phenomenon is all too common.

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!.

A new kind of bad boss!

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.

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 centre 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! 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 apologise. 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 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 her books on Amazon at this link

         

Delivering Feedback – Constructive Criticism

Delivering Feedback – Constructive Criticism

The world being the kind of place it is, sometimes even the most positive and fair minded manager finds they need to criticize something.  How can you as a manager do this in a way that is constructive, maintains the relationship and leads to improvement.  Here are some tips.

  • Check the facts very carefully before you begin!
  • Don’t judge the person, judge the behaviour.  A person’s behaviour is not who they are. And who they are, is not your responsibility.  Deal with what you have seen and have evidence for!
  • Be clear, specific and factual in what you say.  Focus on what is happening now and how changes will affect the future. Dwelling on the past is unlikely to influence future behaviour
  • Listen very carefully to the response. Pay attention to explanations and objections – treat them with respect even if you can’t accept them. Be alert to difficulties the person has experienced; listen out for training needs and follow them up.
  • Acknowledge the response and make it clear that you understand what has been said! Be honest enough to admit it, if you got things wrong and apologize.
  • Express yourself assertively – not with diffidence, nor with anger or aggression. Focus clearly on the change you wish to see.

Remember constructive criticism always has a positive goal and that is to make a change for the better – keep that in mind all the time you are giving feedback.

Wendy is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com,  find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.

How To Manage A Virtual Team of Employees (And Be Successful!)

How To Manage A Virtual Team of Employees (And Be Successful!)

Do you really need to be in the same building as your employees? Unless you serve customers face-to-face, there’s no compelling reason not to have virtual staff. But virtual arrangements can be fraught with pitfalls. This video from Denise OBerry provides some really useful tips.

If you enjoyed this video, you can sign up for Denise’s free weekly small business advice at http://www.deniseoberry.com/tips

Wendy is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com,  find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.

Book a free trial/consultation to try phone coaching from the comfort of your own home and without risk. Don’t forget to ask about the Summer Special Offer 

Related articles

Giving Feedback

Giving Feedback

Management; Some Good Thoughts On Giving Feedback

Giving feedback to those you manage is an important task for any manager. Here is some good advice!

 

Wendy Mason is the Happiness Coach and author of a new novel, The Wolf Project.  Wendy is a life and career coach and writer. She is passionate about helping people find happiness at work and at home! To find out more emailwendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com, find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.  
A free trial/consultation allows you to give phone coaching a real trial without any financial risk. And remember there are great benefits to be achieved from coaching by phone or Skype.

CV review and interview preparation a speciality

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  • Career Development – The Value of a Career Plan and Making One!
  • Job Search Techniques To Help You Stand Out From The Crowd
  • Management, Orders and Attitude – Millennials and Beyond – Youth Unemployment
  • Why Telephone Coaching Works

Management:Some Good Thoughts On Giving Feedback

Management;Some Good Thoughts On Giving Feedback

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. 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

Tips for New Managers

Tips for New Managers

Management; 10 Tips for New Managers

Must dos for first-time bosses

Tips for New Managers – with the right training and guidance, millennials can lead as well as managers wiser in both years and experience. I think you will find this post by Jessica Harper on the  U.S. News Money website useful if you are just starting out.

“Who says 20- and early 30-somethings can’t be effective leaders in the workplace? With the right training and guidance, millennials can lead as well as managers wiser in both years and experience. Here are 10 tips for first-time managers who want to excel:

1. Seek a mentor. It’s generally easier to take on a managerial role with a sound support system in place. A little encouragement can yield immense benefits for novice supervisors. “Find a mentor and/or role model,” says Steve Bailey, president of the National Management Association. “Look at others who seem to be effective and happy in their work. Ask them for their advice,” he says. “People appreciate that.

2. Bridge the generational divide. In the current workforce, it’s not uncommon for a millennial to manage a baby boomer. But occasionally, an older worker might be less than thrilled with the idea of being managed by someone who was still in diapers when he or she was well into their first job. Bailey says young supervisors should prep themselves for that struggle. “Of course those conflicts can easily arise,” says Bailey. “And someone needs to tell the younger managers to expect them. More importantly, they need to be coached and taught the importance of emotional intelligence—that ability to read others, to show empathy, to listen, and to respect the experience of others.”

Misconceptions can also deepen the divide….

Read the rest at http://money.usnews.com/money/careers/articles/2012/07/12/10-tips-for-new-managers

Wendy Mason is the Happiness Coach and author of a new novel, The Wolf Project.  Wendy is a life and career coach and writer. She is passionate about helping people find happiness at work and at home! To find out more email wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com, find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.  

A free trial/consultation allows you to give phone coaching a real trial without any financial risk. And remember there are great benefits to be achieved from coaching by phone or Skype.

CV review and interview preparation a speciality

  • Why Telephone Coaching Works
  • Career Development – The Value of a Career Plan and Making One!
  • Job Search – Top Ten Job Search And Social Media Questions
  • Managing People – Know Yourself!
  • Management, Orders and Attitude – Millennials and Beyond – Youth Unemployment

 

Management; 10 Tips for New Managers

Photo:wikipedia

Management; 10 Tips for New Managers

Must dos for first-time bosses

With the right training and guidance, millennials can lead as well as managers wiser in both years and experience.

I think you will find this post by Jessica Harper on the  U.S. News Money website useful if you are just starting out.

“Who says 20- and early 30-somethings can’t be effective leaders in the workplace? With the right training and guidance, millennials can lead as well as managers wiser in both years and experience. Here are 10 tips for first-time managers who want to excel:

1. Seek a mentor. It’s generally easier to take on a managerial role with a sound support system in place. A little encouragement can yield immense benefits for novice supervisors. “Find a mentor and/or role model,” says Steve Bailey, president of the National Management Association. “Look at others who seem to be effective and happy in their work. Ask them for their advice,” he says. “People appreciate that.

2. Bridge the generational divide. In the current workforce, it’s not uncommon for a millennial to manage a baby boomer. But occasionally, an older worker might be less than thrilled with the idea of being managed by someone who was still in diapers when he or she was well into their first job. Bailey says young supervisors should prep themselves for that struggle. “Of course those conflicts can easily arise,” says Bailey. “And someone needs to tell the younger managers to expect them. More importantly, they need to be coached and taught the importance of emotional intelligence—that ability to read others, to show empathy, to listen, and to respect the experience of others.”

Misconceptions can also deepen the divide….

Read the rest at http://money.usnews.com/money/careers/articles/2012/07/12/10-tips-for-new-managers

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. 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

Know Yourself!

Know Yourself!

Managing People – Know Yourself!

Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom. Aristotle

Know yourself

Know yourself – I’ve been writing a lot recently about the personal development mindset.  A key part of the mindset is self-belief.  But before you can believe in yourself, you need to understand yourself; particularly your strengths, your weaknesses and your personality.  This is particularly important if you want to be successful at managing others!

Know yourself if you want to manage others successfully. I have important news for you – there are no perfect managers.  Managers have strengths and all of them have weaknesses too.  You are no different to the rest.  There will be things that you are good at and there will be other things that you might prefer not to talk about, or even to admit to yourself.  And every one of us has our own quirks of personality.  Believe me, you need to understand yours!  If you want to succeed as a manager, you need to be honest and, not least, with yourself.

Being a good manager doesn’t mean you need to be perfect or to know everything.  But, you do need to be good at covering the gaps; that only works if you know where the gaps are.  Then you have options.

When you know yourself you can:

  • Put together a team that includes people who are what you are not and can do what you cannot. Sometimes this can be a challenge – often our first instinct is to recruit people just like us! If you are putting together a team for an important, business critical, task,  you need to have all the bases covered,
  • Outsource/buy in the ability you need, when you need it, for example, HR advice when faced with a large-scale organizational change.
  • Adapt the task so that it uses the skills and experience you have available. This may be negotiable more often than you think.  But without an honest appraisal of your own strengths and the strengths of the team, that would not be possible.

If you would like to understand yourself better then “Personality: What makes you the way you are” by Daniel Nettle comes well recommended.  Also, there are lots of free personality tests on line – HumanMetrics provides one of the more widely used ones.

Wendy Mason is the Happiness Coach and author of a new novel, The Wolf Project Wendy is a life and career coach and writer. She is passionate about helping people find happiness at work and at home! She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  She believes coaching requires compassion, warmth and empathy. Wendy helps people reach their career goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

Managing People – Know Yourself!

Managing People – Know Yourself!

Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom. Aristotle

N-Plants

I’ve been writing a lot recently about the personal development mindset.  A key part of the mindset is self-belief.  But before you can believe in yourself, you need to understand yourself; particularly your strengths, your weaknesses and your personality.  This is particularly important if you want to be successful at managing others!

I have important news for you – there are no perfect managers.  Managers have strengths and all of them have weaknesses too.  You are no different to the rest.  There will be things that you are good at and there will be other things that you might prefer not to talk about, or even to admit to yourself.  And every one of us has our own quirks of personality.  Believe me, you need to understand yours!  If you want to succeed as a manager, you need to be honest and, not least, with yourself.

Being a good manager doesn’t mean you need to be perfect or to know everything.  But, you do need to be good at covering the gaps; that only works if you know where the gaps are.  Then you have options.

You can:

  • Put together a team that includes people who are what you are not and can do what you cannot. Sometimes this can be a challenge – often our first instinct is to recruit people just like us! If you are putting together a team for an important, business critical, task,  you need to have all the bases covered,
  • Outsource/buy in the ability you need, when you need it, for example, HR advice when faced with a large-scale organizational change.
  • Adapt the task so that it uses the skills and experience you have available. This may be negotiable more often than you think.  But without an honest appraisal of your own strengths and the strengths of the team, that would not be possible.

If you would like to understand yourself better then “Personality: What makes you the way you are” by Daniel Nettle comes well recommended.  Also, there are lots of free personality tests on line – HumanMetrics provides one of the more widely used ones.

Wendy Mason is the Happiness Coach and author of a new novel, The Wolf Project Wendy is a life and career coach and writer. She is passionate about helping people find happiness at work and at home! She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  She believes coaching requires compassion, warmth and empathy. Wendy helps people reach their career goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

Difficult people – stay neutral!

Difficult people – stay neutral!

Difficult people! We all meet difficult people at work and in our private lives. Dealing with difficult people is a subject that seems to generate more interest than anything else, here and at my other blog, WiseWolf’s Your Happiness Factor. So I’m making no apologies for writing about this again.

Difficult people can do more than make us unhappy.  As if that isn’t bad enough, difficult people can be bad for your health.  If you let them stress you out, that can lead to physical and the psychological problems.

If we meet difficult people in the workplace and they are work colleagues, the stress is on-going.  Even if you are the manager of a difficult person, it can take a toll.  And, if the “difficult person” is your boss, the stress can be almost intolerable. I’m not talking here about a bullying boss; just someone who is difficult to work with.

This video discusses how it is important to stay calm, stay in a neutral space and stay assertive. Try not to let them engage your emotions – you can use visualization to help do this. Accept that all you can control is how you react.

And, yes, it often helps to work with a coach.

This video from http://www.howdini.com/howdini-video-… Mary Bolster, editor of Natural Health Magazine, has some excellent reminders to help you deal with the difficult people in your life.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in 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 her books on Amazon at this link