Management FUBAR

I met with one of my colleagues this afternoon for a few minutes, and was very surprised with her management style.

While we were discussing which team might benefit most from a junior developer who will soon be joining our ranks, one of her employees walked in and without apologies interrupted to ask a project status question that clearly was not urgent.  To my amazement, rather than telling him that she would work with him once our meeting was over, she responded in great detail to his question.  As she responded, he repeatedly interrupted her.  Just two weeks ago, I gave a firm No to HR on a candidate because he continually interrupted me during our interview.  I cannot imagine tolerating such behavior on a daily basis.

When we allow other people to treat us with disrespect, we become a person who can be disrespected.  We are diminished.  As managers this is a real problem because we look weak, and when staff see us as weak then they are not quite as motivated.  Most people, including myself, want to work for someone who is strong and decisive on important matters. 

I have the opposite problem.  Though I see myself as easy-going much of the time, when a team member is being particularly unproductive, overly stubborn, or not taking responsibility, my reaction is irritation and I can speak with a barbed tongue.  This is also not the best behavior for a manager, because it is setting the wrong tone, introducing a punitive system of project management, and discourages a good exchange of information.



5 responses

  1. No win win situation but I agree with you, I feel the that respect in a manager is key, the barbed tongue is quickly forgotten when all your other managerial skills are so good. Managerial skills or leadership without respect in my opinion is indicative to its lack of existence, you can’t have the one without the other…

  2. I certainly want to work on being more level with my speech even when I am irritated. I have a perfectionist streak!!

    That’s a good observation about the relationship between leadership and respect – I had not thought about it in those terms before.

  3. Hmmm you sound like a virgo lol – we are all human and the fact that your voice levels change when you’re irritated only shows your team that you are human which actually adds kudo points to your leadership style

    I hope that for one minute you do not think you are a bad manager because one of the top five indicators is the willingness to learn … Your leadership skills surpass your managerial skills – those who accept the title and nothing else are known as Managers, those that take it seriously and work on it constantly are Leaders, that is you. In my opinion you sound like the female version of Jack Welch 😀

  4. That’s funny – a Virgo! No, pretty much the opposite of a Virgo: a Scorpio.

    I have a lot of failings in my role as a manager, and I have to be clear and honest with myself about those failings. If I try to trick myself into thinking I am better than I am, then I run the risk of being arrogant and that would make me less effective.

    But that said, I think I am a good manager. I observe others who have this same role, and even those in the level above, and I can see that I am a good manager and that I have a lot of potential.

    I wish I was a Jackie Welsh – ha! I still have a long distance to travel. I don’t have the years in this role to have fully integrated the lessons from my work experiences. That takes a lot of time. But I can do it. Lots of obstacles, but they can be overcome in time.

    And I am in no hurry.

    Thank you for the lovely encouragement. 🙂

  5. See you even talk like Welsh, you are further than you think you are and the mere fact that you do not see it says more about your leadership skills than anything else. Glad you see time as a friend not foe, your team are lucky to have you 🙂 One day you will inspire other leaders no doubt about it! Hope your manager sees it to 🙂

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