12 Most Destructive Management Behaviors or Beliefs
1. Treating people like replaceable cogs
“She doesn’t have time to get to know her employees.”
A manager once told me that he didn’t care if employees left. He
could find and train another person easily. To him employees were widely
available and unspecialized cogs in his “factory.” People came and
went. He spent a lot of time training, retraining, complaining,
stressing. Wonderful and sense of purpose is not possible in this kind
of work environment.
2. Self-serving agenda
“My manager’s needs are more important than the needs of the company or team.”
Self-serving agendas place the manager’s needs above others and the
business. Power in business will always exist. It has it’s place, but
not when it undermines what’s good for the company or employees. It
destroys trust. It depletes workplace optimism. It limits success.
3. Avoiding giving feedback
“Inappropriate behavior is okay. He thinks we don’t need to hear good news.”
Feedback has negative associations for many managers and employees.
Consequently employees go without feedback or praise and recognition.
Mediocrity settles in. What’s at stake: loss of unity; confusion in
expectations; muddied purpose.
4. Not making time for coaching
“I don’t have time to coach employees.”
Translation: I’m too busy with projects and other demands. Developing
my employees to contribute at higher levels is not important. My
meeting-marathon is more important. I can’t prioritize meetings and
coach my people.
5. Avoiding conflict
“It’s okay to undermine quality relationships by letting my fear of conflict matter more than people.”
Workplace conflict can be difficult to handle. Letting it go
unresolved, though, will chip away at team effectiveness. It lets
dysfunctional behaviors poison teams and relationships.
6. Sitting on employees’ ideas
“My ideas don’t matter.”
Employees have invaluable insights into what’s working and not
working with a company’s operations, products, or services. When a
manager chooses to not share employee ideas with decision makers, they
limit success and growth. Furthermore, they risk entrenching
command-and-control leadership philosophies. This is the antithesis of
“doing something wonderful.”
7. Short-term thinking
“Management is not interested in the consequences of today’s decisions.”
Not all decisions need to be long-term ones. Yet, a decision like
laying off employees is too often made with a short-term mindsets.
Overhead expenses may decrease, but quality, customer service, and
morale are hammered. The trade-offs can be more damaging.
“We just need to do what is expected.”
Want to deflate meaning or purpose? Want to create an uninspired work
environment? Want to reinforce an order taking mindset? Managers who
don’t share differing viewpoints or challenge uninformed decisions are
settling for mediocrity. Combine this destructive action with sitting on
employee ideas, and toxicity in the workplace quickly becomes reality.
9. Out of touch with employees
“He has no clue what what’s going on with us.”
I recall an executive making a statement that his employees have
saved money for these hard times. It was in a conversation about low
employee morale and cutbacks. Stunned, his senior managers left
wondering how he was informing other executives about the team’s
performance and needs. Managers out of touch with employees’ realities,
risk turning good into bad or bad into worse.
10. Allowing meeting marathons
“Meaningful work? What’s that?”
When managers don’t intervene with employees’ back-to-back meetings,
they give up the right to question why work time lines slip. Similarly,
they give up the right to question why work quality is down. Employees
can only work so much overtime before flaming out. Flaming out and doing
wonderful work is not sustainable.
“Everything has been done already.”
Do you want to be bitter or better? Managers who share their cynicism
on life, people, and business will poison their teams. It’s a selfish
behavior that places a lid on performance. Meaningful work is hardly
possible when working for a manager who can’t manage his own cynicism.
12. Lacking Humility
“He’s climbing the corporate ladder. We’re a rung on the ladder.”
Teams are critical for any department or business to succeed. No
rocket science in that statement. A manager who sees his team as a means
to moving up the ladder removes joy from work. He destroys trust,
making it impossible to do something wonderful.
We will always have managers who make their role about their own
goals, but it’s a choice that limits growth and possibility. In these
complex times where traditional approaches to management and leadership
are no longer enough, new ways are emerging. We need to embrace the new
and discard these old destructive ways of thinking.
It doesn’t matter if you made management about your goals. You can
always chose to make something wonderful. You can always chose to tap
into your employees’ sense of purpose. You can chose to redefine what
success looks like that enables and engages employees and their hearts,
minds, and talents.
It’s your choice.
Edited by SamoneLenior - Jan 18 2013 at 10:46am