Is Your Management Style a One Way Street?


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In the November issue of T&D magazine, there was an infographic discussing how some employees feel bullied at their job. Immediately the image of the playground bully came to mind, but what struck me hardest was the ways they showed how people interpreted being bullied:

  • 42%: Being falsely accused of mistakes
  • 39%: Being ignored
  • 33%: Being constantly criticized
  • 36%: Having different standards and policies for others versus themselves
  • 31%: Being negatively affected by another’s negligence

I would like to focus on focus on the top two: falsely accused and ignored.

Imagine an employee walks into his manager’s office with a concern. As they sit down to talk, the manager just rattles off a list of things the employee needs to do, ends with a “thank you” and that’s it. Once he leaves the office, the employee is left wondering what happened.

Imagine that a manager pulls an employee into his office and begins to have a meltdown about the performance of the team on a certain project without realizing that this team no longer handles that project. And, even worse, never goes back to apologize after realizing their mistake.

If I were to ask your staff, would they say that this is your communication style? That you have no time for discussion but instead give a list of instructions and then make the person feel uncomfortable until he leaves your office?

Could there be times where you assume a situation and blast out an email based on initial reaction without taking the time to gather all of the information or people together to discuss the situation?

Are there some people on your team that are being ignored? Just because they do not open up as easily as others should not mean that you stop asking for their input.

Simply put, people will not work for leaders who are egomaniacs for long. I know many of you are thinking of people who you think fit that term, but I think many people are using them for short term leverage for their own career, so how invested were they in the company as a whole?

Two way communication is respectful and helps build a team. Much of the danger lies in speed and emotions

Here are a few ideas that have helped me and others in the past.

  • Write the email but don’t send it. Wait thirty minutes and then reread it. I am sure you will have some edits or delete it entirely.
  • Take a walk. Write down the pros and cons of the argument or situation. Look at potential consequences of what happens on both sides.
  • Write out your feelings; get them out of your head and look for the logic of argument without the emotions.
  • Make sure you have all the right information before you explode on someone and end up destroying the morale of your workforce.

I know that at times business moves quickly. Sometimes things happen that may make your company look bad and your frustration builds up to the point of bursting. But to just lash out at your staff without all the facts cheapens your ability to lead in the future. Mistakes happen, but lack of respect will end up hurting you more in the long run.

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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