Last week, I gave you some tips for how to handle a crappy manager. This week, I am going to go over how to tell if you are a crappy manager. One of life's cruel jokes is that we are not often aware of the pain we are causing others. Many people I know who are managers are not good at it, but for some reason are unaware. If you find that you fall into the category, don't worry, we have all been there, and while I can't tell you that it is easy to fix, I can tell you that with effort and focus, anything is fixable.
First, an explanation as to why there are so many bad managers in the world, despite the ginormous number of books there are on leadership. (Over 21 thousand listed on Amazon as of this post.)Most managers are people, who, for one reason or another, were very good at the jobs they had before they were promoted to a management position. At some point, a manager was needed. The higher ups figured, "hey, that lady is good at her job. She is responsible. She is diligent. Let's make her the new manager!"
So, there she is, all excited about her new position, she is learning the job and figuring out the spreadsheets, the accounting software, the vendor information, where to send what forms and what all the deadlines are. She is doing well learning the skills part of her job, except for one small detail: management, the actual handling of people. Directing, coaching, leading; these things have not even been broached. She has not been taught the exact science or subtle art of communication.
Communication training, more than any other, could guarantee her success as a manager. Most likely, she will not receive any. She might not even be aware that she needs it, or, if she is, she is too insecure about her job to ask for it. This set-up is very common. This is how you create abusive managers. You put new managers into a situation where they do not have the skills to do the job, they become insecure because they know they are not good at it, they are too afraid to ask for help because of their insecurity, and they end up making their employees miserable because of it.
I, myself have been promoted to management positions on several occasions in different industries without any type of communication or personnel training. It is usually quite a mess. Here are all the reasons why it doesn't work out:
Here is a little quiz I use in order to keep myself on track as a manager. I make sure that I am able to answer yes to all of these questions. How many can you answer yes to?
My guideline is that if I cannot answer yes to all of these, I am not doing what I should as a manager. If I am answering "no" to more than four, I am crap. I have to work on improving so that I can be an asset to my employees.
If you take this quiz, be as honest as you can be. These are all things you should be doing for your employees on a regular basis. As a manager of people, it is your job to supply the tools and support that your employees need in order to ensure their success.
Most managers think that their employees are there to serve them, when, in reality, it is the manager's job to serve their employees. It is also an absolute that any manager who has achieved any level of true success has done so through proper employee management and mentoring. As a manager, your success depends on the success of your employees. If you are not treating them as such, your organization/company/department will struggle.
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