Manager behaving badly – is it you?

Are your anxieties reducing the performance of those you work with?

Manager behaving badly – is it you?

Manager behaving badly – are your anxieties reducing the performance of those you work with?

Are you a manager behaving badly and what is the effect on others? I’ve coached and blogged about career development for a few years now. And there seem to be a number of recurring themes when people talk to me about happiness at work. The most common is “trouble” with boss.

Problems can arise for all kinds of reasons.

Sometimes the person talking to me has had a history of difficulties with other managers in the past. There may be something they can change in their approach to improve things.

Sometimes the person having the problems is in a job that isn’t the right fit and they need to consider a change.

Unfortunately, it isn’t unusual for it to be about manager bad behaviour

Unfortunately, and far too often, the difficulties spring from the way a particular manager has behaved.

Managers come in all kinds of flavours. Some find communicating with their teams easy. For others, it may be something at which they need to work. These days there is little excuse for not knowing that communication is key to good performance but you would be surprised how many managers choose not to hear the message.

Sadly, a small number of managers are out-and-out bullies and they cause much misery and distress. Far more common is a much more subtle effect. There are managers dealing with their personal challenges by acting unprofessional in the workplace.

Some managers deal with trouble in their private life by bringing anger or depression into the office. Many seem quite clever at making sure it is only their juniors who suffer, while colleagues and those above, see a happy, cooperative employee.

Managers may be insecure in their work role (fear of redundancy, for example). They may deal with their anxieties by undermining those who work for them. Heaven help the bright junior who might be a natural successor! But the team might suffer from their “control freakery” and anger – nothing is quite good enough.

Over time, a “boss” working out their own problems at work can cause havoc with their team’s performance. Everyone feels unhappy and stressed; valuable team members look for opportunities to move elsewhere and sick absence may rise.

Manager behaving badly – are you causing problems for others

As a manager, looking objectively at your own performance and admitting you are causing problems for the team can be hard.

It is wise for all manager to step back sometimes and reflect on their own performance. Think about how you behaved over the last week, the last month and the last year.

For example, when you think about your leadership or management style consider;

  • Have there been incidents you later regretted?
  • Are there people on the team you fear may be better than you at the job?
  • Have you stopped seeing good people as an asset and do you now see them as a threat?
  • How happy are the people who work in your team?
  • How have you contributed to that happiness?

Think about how you would judge a colleague behaving as you have behaved. Would it be good for them, their team and the organization, in the long-term? If the answer is no, then act now. Commit to making a change and, if you need help, there are lots of coaches like me around on LinkedIn.

All it takes is the courage to look honestly and objectively at what you have done and not make excuses for yourself. Takes action. You owe it to yourself and your team to make that change.

Working with a coach really can help you be a better manager. 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. 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

         

Communications When Things Go Wrong

When it comes to communication, there seven dimensions to consider if you want to communicate in a way that limits damage to the reputation of the organization. There may be limitations on what you can say for legal reasons, but the nearer you get to covering the seven dimensions, the more effective your communications will be.

Communications When Things Go Wrong

Winning Friends In A Crisis – How To Manage Communications When Things Go Wrong!

How you handle communications when things go wrong is important.  Bad communications when things go wrongthings happen in all organisations. Sometime the problem lies within the organization. Sometimes it is the environment outside that causes a crisis. To respond well as a manager, you need a strategy that will do the following

  • Deal with the problem causing the crisis;
  • Assist any victims and those directly affected;
  • Communicate with, and enlist, the support of employees.
  • Inform those indirectly affected; and
  • Manage the media and all external stakeholders in the organization.

Seven dimensions

For communications when things go wrong, there are seven dimensions to consider. These will be  important if you want to communicate in a way that limits damage. Particularly to the reputation of the organization. There may be limitations on what you can say for legal reasons. But, the nearer you get to covering the seven dimensions, the more effective your communications will be.

The seven dimensions to consider for communications when things go wrong

  1.  Candor. A public acknowledgement that a problem exists and a commitment to put it right, usually wins trust. And it will win respect for the organization.
  2. Explanation. Explain promptly and clearly what went wrong. Base this on the knowledge available at the time and any legal constraints. If there is not yet full information, make a commitment to report regularly. Tell people when they can expect more information. Continue making reports until full information is available or public interest dissipates.
  3. Declaration. Make a clear public commitment to take steps to address and resolve any issues raised by the incident.
  4. Contrition. Make it clear that you, and those in charge of the organization, are sorry for what has happened. Show empathy and regret. If there is reason to be embarrassed, then show embarrassment about what has happened and for allowing it to happen.
  5. Consultation: Ask for help from pubic authorities and anyone else who can provide it, if that will help those hurt or prevent this from happening again. Do this even if it means accepting help from opponents or competitors.
  6. Commitment: Be prepared to make a promise that, to the best of the organisation’s ability, similar situations will never occur again.
  7. Restitution: Find a way to quickly pay the price, compensate and make restitution.

Go the extra mile

Show in your communications that you are prepared to go beyond what people would expect, or what is legally required, to put things right. Adverse situations remedied quickly, usually cost far less. They are controversial for shorter periods of time.

This is the gold standard. The closer you get to it, the more respect there will be for you, and your organization. Plus the sooner the public are likely to forgive, if not forget.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

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

         

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Favourites at work

If people believe they do not all have the same chance of gaining a reward, they switch off and become de-motivated.

Favourites at work

Managing People – The Dangers of Having Favourites !

Favourites at work – many, many years moons ago, I worked with children.  They were boys between the ages of seven and eleven. And, for me, they were at the most interesting stage in their development.  I saw them gaining in awareness and personality with views of their own about pretty much everything.  It was tempting to spend time with a particular child that you liked. This would have been at the expense of a child that really needed your attention. Sometime later I found the same thing could happen in nursing. That patient who was so appealing might be lavished with greater care. Favouring a particular patient or a particular child would have been, at the very least, unprofessional. And if you think about it, it could lead to harm.

As a manager showing that you have favourites can also be disastrous. I don’t mean that excellence, high performance and value to the organization should not be recognised.  But an organization cannot succeed in meeting its goals without the full cooperation and collaboration of all its members. If people believe they do not all have the same chance of gaining a reward, they switch off and become de-motivated.  They need to know that everyone plays by the same rules and is judged in the same way.

Having favourites at work is risky

There may be particular risks when a manger is newly promoted from within a work group.  Friendships can be maintained but they need to be kept for outside the workplace. It is a good idea to discuss this with the friend. Then agree from the outset how you will both make it clear no special benefits come from the friendship. The same thing goes for people that you did not get on with particularly well. It may be worth having a conversation to clear the air. Make sure that people understand you will be making a fresh start.

Remember having favourites can easily slip into discrimination. Recognise that from the start and resolve to be a manager who does not have favourites!

Working with a career coach really can help you succeed as a manager. Why not take advantage of my offer of a free half hour coaching session to find out how I can help

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

         

Managing People – The Dangers of Having Favorites!

If people believe they do not all have the same chance of gaining a reward, they switch off and become de-motivated.

Managing People – The Dangers of Having Favorites!

Many, many years moons ago, I worked with children.  They were boys between the ages of seven and eleven and, for me, at the most interesting stage in their development.  I saw them gaining in awareness and personality with views of their own pretty much everything.  It was tempting to spend time with a particular child that you liked, at the expense of a child that really needed your attention. Sometime later I found the same thing could happen in nursing – that patient who was so appealing might be lavished with greater care. Favoring a particular patient or a particular child would have been, at the very least, unprofessional and if you think about it could lead to harm.

As a manager showing that you have favorites can also have quite disastrous consequences. Now, I don’t mean that excellence, high performance and value to the organization should not be recognized and rewarded.  But as valuable as one person might be, an organization cannot succeed in meeting its goals without the full cooperation and collaboration of all its members. Taken to extremes a manager who falls in to the favorites’ trap can be accused not of favoritism, but of discrimination between employees with potential legal consequences.  If people believe they do not all have the same chance of gaining a reward, they switch off and become de-motivated.  They need to know that everyone plays by the same rules and is judged in the same way.

There may be particular risks when a manger is newly promoted from within a work group.  Friendships can be maintained but they need to be kept for outside the workplace.  It is a good idea to discuss this with the friend and agree from the outset that you will both make it clear that, in fairness to others, no special benefits come from the friendship. The same thing goes for people that you did not get on with particularly well. It may be worth having a conversation to clear the air and to make sure that people understand you will be making a fresh start.

Wendy Mason is a career coach.  She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between coaching and writing. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

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Managing diverse teams

Recognize that people are different. Get to know your people and find out exactly what it is they need from you to succeed.

Managing diverse teams

Managing divers teams – I believe that diverse teams are powerful when well managed provide. They provide individual team members with an energising and exciting place to work. Here are some tips on managing diverse teams.

Recognize that people come with different needs. People are different for all kinds of reasons; age, sex or ethnic background being just the start.  But don’t assume that just because they are old/young, male/female, black/white etc that they will be different. Get to know your people and find out exactly what each one need from you to succeed.

Recognize and give credit for wisdom.  People bring a variety od learning and experience.  All will bring something – for example, school-leavers may well be able to tell you about new trends.  Take time to find out what each person brings to the party and be grateful for it.

Stand your ground, but do so with respect for difference.  If you are the leader and accountable for results, do your job. People will be looking for you to lead and they can, quite rightfully, feel resentful if you leave them lost and without leadership.  But lead with respect for all.

Be ready to learn from them. Be honest when you don’t know how to do something.  If someone does have the answer, be humble enough to let them show you. It’s okay that you have some things to learn. We all do! You will be respected for your honesty.

Don’t avoid issues or fail to handle conflict. Don’t be tempted to make  excuses for not knowing something, pretend you have more experience than members of your team. Don’t duck issues that arise between team members.  Unresolved conflicts fester. Deal quickly with any indication of bullying.

Be honest with people. People value honesty expressed with  care and courtesy.  Treat them as you would like to be treated.

Practice patience.  People may be more or less culturally, technologically, or trend, savvy.  That doesn’t mean they will not be valuable.  Take time to find out about them, then train where necessary. Different kinds of people may need different forms of communication or you may need to explain something in a different context.

Above all, enjoy the experience that working in a team with people from a mix of backgrounds brings. Their strengths will make for a powerful team

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

         

Leading people who are different from you!

Recognize that people are different. Get to know your people and find out exactly what it is they need from you to succeed.

Leading people who are different from you!

I started my professional career qualifying and working as a nurse.  I can’t remember that the differences between the people were an issue in that world.  It was later on, when I moved to work in a government department, that I had problems.  Or, rather, one particular problem!

I had a very junior member of the team who was very much older than me.  She found it difficult to accept my right to lead and manage her; she preferred working for men.  Eventually, and with a lot of work by both of us, we found a way of working together, but it was never easy.  Over the years, I learned a few lessons and got better at working with people who were very different, including of different ages.  Here, are some of the things I learned.

Recognize that people are different. People are different for all kinds of reasons; age, sex or ethnic background, being just the start.  But don’t assume that just because they are old/young, male/female, black/white etc that they will be different.  Get to know your people and find out exactly what it is they need from you to succeed.

Recognize and give credit for wisdom.  Different people bring different learning and experience.  But most will bring something – for example, school-leavers may well be able to tell you about new trends.  Find out what each person brings to the party and be grateful for it.

Stand your ground, but do it with respect for difference.  If you are the leader and accountable for results, do your job. People will be looking for you to lead and they can, quite rightfully, feel resentful if you leave them lost and without leadership.  But lead with respect for all.

Be ready to learn from them. Be honest when you don’t know how to do something.  If someone does have the answer, be humble enough to let them show you. It’s okay that you have some things to learn. We all do! You will be respected for your honesty.

Don’t avoid issues or fail to handle conflict. Don’t be tempted to make  excuses for not knowing something, pretend you have more experience than members of your team or duck issues that arise between team members.  Those who have the experience will see through that type behavior, you will lose their respect and unresolved conflicts fester.

Be honest with people. Most people in the world value honesty expressed with courtesy, regardless of their age, sex etc.  Treat them as you would like to be treated.

Practice patience.  People may be more or less culturally, technologically, or trend savvy.  That doesn’t mean they will not be valuable.  Take time to find out about them, then train where necessary. Different kinds of people may need different forms of communication or you may need to explain something in a different context.

Above all, enjoy the experience that working in a team with people from a mix of backgrounds brings.

Wendy Mason is a career coach.  She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between coaching and writing. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more athttp://wisewolfcoaching.com

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Winning Friends In A Crisis – How To Manage Communications When Things Go Wrong!

When it comes to communication, there seven dimensions to consider if you want to communicate in a way that limits damage to the reputation of the organization. There may be limitations on what you can say for legal reasons, but the nearer you get to covering the seven dimensions, the more effective your communications will be.

Winning Friends In A Crisis – How To Manage Communications When Things Go Wrong!

Bad things happen in all organizations. Sometime the problem lies within the organization, sometimes it is the environment outside that causes a crisis. To respond well as a manager, you need a strategy that will do the following

  • Deal with the problem causing the crisis;
  • Assist any victims and those directly affected;
  • Communicate with, and enlist, the support of employees.
  • Inform those indirectly affected; and
  • Manage the media and and all external stakeholders in the organization.

When it comes to communication, there seven dimensions to consider if you want to communicate in a way that limits damage to the reputation of the organization. There may be limitations on what you can say for legal reasons, but the nearer you get to covering the seven dimensions, the more effective your communications will be.

Here are the seven dimensions;

  1.  Candor. A public acknowledgement that a problem exists and a commitment to put it right, usually wins trust and respect for the organization.
  2. Explanation. Explain promptly and clearly what went wrong, based on the knowledge available at the time. If there is not yet full information, make a commitment to report regularly and tell people when they can expect more information. Continue making reports until full information is available or public interest dissipates.
  3. Declaration. Make a clear public commitment to take steps to address and resolve any issues raised by the incident.
  4. Contrition. Make it clear that you, and those in charge of the organization, are sorry for what has happened, show empathy and regret. If there is reason to be embarrassed, then show embarrassment about what has happened and for allowing it to happen.
  5. Consultation: Ask for help from pubic authorities and anyone else who can provide it if that will help those hurt or prevent this from happening again. Do this even if it means accepting help from opponents or competitors.
  6. Commitment: Be prepared to make a promise that, to the best of the organization’s ability, similar situations will never occur again.
  7. Restitution: Find a way to quickly pay the price, compensate and make restitution.

Show in your communications that you are prepared to go beyond what people would expect, or what is legally required, to put things right. Adverse situations remedied quickly, usually cost far less and are controversial for much shorter periods of time.

This is the gold standard, but the closer you get to it, the more respect there will be for you, and your organization, and the sooner the public are likely to forgive, if not forget.

Wendy Mason is a career coach.  She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between coaching and writing. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

Managing Difficult People – Announcing A New Series Of Posts

Announcing a new series of weekly posts for people who find someone in their team to be ‘difficult’. And that has happened sometime to most of us who have experience of managing people in challenging circumstances.

Managing Difficult People – Announcing A New Series Of Posts

Next week we start a new series of weekly posts for people who find someone in their team to be ‘difficult’. And that has happened to most of us who have experience of managing people in challenging circumstances.

Dealing with difficult people can be hard and it can consume lots of your time, energy and resources. You need a strategy for managing the person that helps you deal effectively with their difficult behaviour, and helps them to become a cooperative, productive and respected member of the team.

We are going to consider how to manage those who

  • Disrupt other people’s performance
  • Say they will do something and then don’t deliver
  • Are ambitious but easily frustrated
  • Become aggressive with you or others in the team
  • Lower their own and other people’s morale with cynicism
  • Want promotion but just aren’t ready yet
  • Refuse to accept feedback and do not respond to the standard performance management processes.

We are going to think about

  • What can trigger difficult behaviour
  • Different types of personalities and your strategy for dealing with individuals
  • Barriers to good communication
  • Handling emotion
  • Performance Review
  • Potential legal and organizational issues and the role of HR

I hope you will gain

  • A better understanding of the causes of difficult behavior.
  • The confidence to stop one person demoralizing others in the team

So see you here next week for the first post in this new series for managers.

If you are a manager and need support in dealing with a team member you find “difficult”,  I would like to help you. Email me wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com now to arrange a free half hour coaching session by Skype. 

Wendy Mason is a career coach working mainly with professional women who want to make that jump to senior level while maintaining a good work/life balance. Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between face to face coaching, and coaching and blogging on-line. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

Coming shortly – the WiseWolf Career and Personal Development Programme – if you would like to know more email wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com