Negative Workplace Management

Introduction

Someday you will eventually get to lead somebody. It is just inevitable, sooner or later, situations and circumstances will thrust you into roles you may never have imagined, whether or not you are prepared for them. Welcome to life on planet earth, where change is the only thing that is absolutely constant. It could be as a middle manager, senior director or even a CEO, but sometime, in some sort of capacity within your lifetime you will become a leader having to manage people, time, and material resources.

In any case, if you eventually get married, which is most likely to happen, you will have to either lead a woman or children. This advance, with reference to the workplace is likely to be accompanied by one or more of the following: a rise in salary, a change in title and most importantly, increased responsibility.

Leading people is a big undertaking and is no small feat at all. You end up having to manage not only your own tasks, but your employees’ workloads and goals, as well as the team dynamic too. Unfortunately, being managed by someone who really isn’t good at it can be a deal breaker. A lot of managers tend to blame their turnover problems on everything possible except the heart of the matter (which is actually a matter of the heart), no pun intended. This key issue is this: people do not leave jobs, they leave managers.

Negative workplace management styles

Management consists of the planning, prioritizing, and organizing work efforts to accomplish objectives within a business organization. A management style on the other hand, is the particular way managers go about accomplishing these objectives. It encompasses the way you make decisions, how you plan and organize work, and also how you exercise authority.

Management styles vary by company, level of management, and even from person to person (based on individual personality traits). A good manager, is someone who can adjust their management style to suit different environments and employees. However, it is possible for a manager to exhibit a negative workplace management style, due to several factors. Below are five negative workplace management styles, which good bosses do well to avoid:

 

1- Selfish Sam: Selfish, self-serving leaders like “Sam” will do whatever it takes to appear as super stars in the eyes of their superiors. A person like this, does not really care if he has to step on people or misuse people to achieve their goals.  They singlehandedly, take all the credit for all the hard work done by the team and subordinates. Worse still they refuse to take responsibility when things go wrong. This individual will deny any wrongdoing whatsoever, while looking for a convenient “scape goat” to blame, indeed, someone like this will not hesitate to sacrifice someone else to save their own skin.

They specialize in pointing accusing fingers, at every other person, and in every other direction except at themselves, or in their own direction when targets aren’t met. They will hardly, if ever, acknowledge inputs from their subordinates and are very insecure. Eventually, people under them will begin to resent their attitude, and may even sabotage such a manager by refusing to offer up helpful ideas or by working less than required.

 

2- Micromanager Mike: Managing people can be challenging, since the team’s performance reflects directly back on you. This is the reason, why managers with an anxiety driven disposition, practically babysit and spoon feed subordinates, every step of the way to ensure the work is properly done. However, this has its drawbacks. There is danger that you could get bogged down in the intricate details of various tasks, thereby losing track of the big picture. Furthermore, a major portion of your time, spent constantly looking over their shoulder, ties down this valuable resource, which could be better dedicated to your own work.

This is a major productivity roadblock. In addition to this, it stifles creativity on the part of personnel, irritates and makes them feel incompetent. An authority in IT once made a classic statement “Managers should delegate and manage from a distance. Personnel should and must be, held accountable for their decisions and work output. They must be empowered to take both risks, as well as responsibility for their decisions.

 

3- Nicholas Know-it-All: No single human being is all knowing about everything, there is always something to learn regardless of your title and amount of authority you wield in an organization. Being the best is not about claiming to know the most. It is about acknowledging the fact that you still need to learn, and gain from every opportunity, while also tapping from the wisdom of others. Your confidence should stem from your ability to learn quickly, and not from the amount of information you claim to know.

You will often discover that members of your team, subordinate to you, may likely have smart innovative ideas, and solutions to problems you may not even be aware exist. Never forget, and always remember that wisdom comes from gaining knowledge and experience over the course of time (not a day or week), but over a lifetime, so never stop learning. It actually makes your job easier, whenever a subordinate has a better idea than you or knows something you don’t know. It takes a huge burden off your shoulders because you don’t have to supply all the answers.

4- Absentee Adam: Managing staff from a distance does not mean you should disappear completely. Even though personnel may want to have, and do deserve a certain degree of autonomy, it is critical they receive guidance, feedback and validation that they are on the correct path. Usually one of two scenarios unfold in situations like this. Subordinates proceed without your guidance, which would likely result in chaos or lose their bearings. Since they do not know where to go for support, the tendency is that work allotted to them will grind to a halt, and nothing would be achieved. Neither outcome is desirable, and could lead to you the manager being sanctioned for negligence of duty.

5- Friendly Frank: Personnel who spend the bulk of their available productive time together, tend to develop bonds and close ties. Forming a “best of friends” relationship with your direct line manager, is detrimental to organizational efficiency in both the short and the long run. Inability to provide an employee with 100% honest feedback for fear of hurting his feelings, as well as failure to deal out constructive criticism when required, inhibits both personnel and organizational growth. A manager who is too intimate with his subordinates may discover they will find it harder to respect him as a leader. The relationship dynamics for business friends, differ wider from that of lifelong personal friends, though both are equally legitimate friendships.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, leadership may be intimidating at first. However, avoidance of these toxic pernicious management styles, will not only go a long way to building team cohesiveness but will help you ensure your team attains goals set for them.

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