Ever been blamed for something that wasn’t your fault?
Ever been yelled at for something you didn’t do?
Or got scolded for something that wasn’t in your control?
Ever felt overwhelmed by the amount of work and no rest because it keeps piling up?
We feel you. This may indicate that you may have a terrible boss or manager in your working life.
However, if you haven’t been through all of this, then you’re probably the one doing these hideous things to your colleagues or employees.
You my friend, are a terrible manager.
Did you know that a majority of companies with turnover rates are due to horrible managers? But let’s get things straight. Terrible bosses can be few different things:
- They could be straight A-holes but actually get the work done
- They could be the boss, but not act like leaders, just pointing fingers around
- They so happen to be the head of department (through circumstances and luck) but are just bad at managing
- Exist just so to make people’s working lives a miserable one
If you think you fall into any of these categories, you might find these next tips quite helpful. Or if you think that you’re neither, some examples are provided which may prove that you are.
Managing Is Not Bossing
So what does this term ‘bossing’ actually mean?
Bossing is when you tell people what do to, how to do and when to get it done, all in consideration of only your own convenience. You don’t particularly care if someone’s having a bad day. Your goal-oriented, hostile-self deprives you from actually experiencing the joy of achieving a goal as a team.
Just pointing fingers around and ordering people to do stuff is not managing.
Managing is far beyond that. If you, as a manager do just that, then you are only “bossing” people around, not actually leading people. Leading on the other hand is what a good manager should be doing.
A good manager:
- Sets realistic goals and helps their team to achieve that goal—not just tell their team to reach that goal.
- Knows what’s going on within the team, can communicate effectively and efficiently, is able to monitor everyone’s progress as well as give feedback in a timely manner
- Is fair in making decisions and gentle at probing their team for solutions. They are the person that is able to carry out the pressures of a team.
Remember that good managers are also leaders that inspire and bring out the best in people.
Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
Some managers are the typical Type A personalities.
They’re competitive and self-critical which means when they strive towards a goal, they strive hard and are not fazed by the joy in the efforts or accomplishments.
Let’s not forget that they also tend to overreact to everything too. Their sense of time urgency and hostility disfigures trust within the team. Due to this, Type As tend to hog most of the jobs and then complain about having too much to do and how little work their team is doing.
It’s plainly unfair.
You as a manager need to know you brought this upon yourself—because you didn’t delegate!
Managers, you NEED to TRUST the effort your team makes. Make it okay for them to fail. As a manager, you need to understand that good results require time and energy. If you do everything yourself you might as well NOT be a manager. Managers let people do the work and try their best, and is the manager’s job is to help them along the way. That is the job of a manager!
You also need to understand that sometimes, things do not go the way you want it to and it’s not your team’s fault. How do you expect to be a better leader and have a better team without facing through failures first?
That being said, there are ways to minimise failure for the sake of getting the best results on a project, such as:
1. Get The Right People For The Right Jobs
Successful delegation starts with matching the right task with the right people. Therefore, it is absolutely crucial to explain what your team’s role and goals are.
A good way to put this together is to set up a team charter which sets out the purpose of the team and how will it work. This can help keep the team on track with their goals and monitor the project’s work in progress.
It also allows everyone in the team to chip in ideas and voice out opinions on how to make things better.
Setting up a team charter will also help you to:
2. Set Parameters For Time And Deadline
Use your Type A personality to good use. Allocate deadlines for the proper tasks so that your team can have enough time to complete their work.
It’s okay for you to stress on handing in work on time but it’s better for you to probe them gently on their deadlines.
Give them friendly reminders or have a progression board so that everybody will be able to monitor. It’s good to have a personal reminder but a team progression board would be best at keeping them hustling with their work (because they can check on each other as well).
3. Establishing Boundaries
Managers who start off as a staff on the same level as the other co-workers may face dilemmas in managing their relationship with their now ‘underlings’.
It’s understandable when you and your co-workers have established mutual friendships before hand; and then now you have been passed the responsibility of a manager, it’s wise to establish the manager/employee boundary.
Granted, it is nice to be the ‘cool boss’ to your team and gain more trust and brownie points (a way for you to get another promotion quickly). However, being a ‘cool boss’ all the time will be the enabler for bad behaviour.
If you are being too nice or having a continued relationship on the same level as your co-workers, they might forget that you are now the manager and not take you seriously.
For example: Things like being lax on deadlines and not taking your instructions seriously will damage the team’s productivity and end goals. This can happen because the level of authority is not conveyed properly.
You can still be “buddy-buddy” with your team. In fact it is encouraged but you must make the boundaries clear.
Work is work people need to play their part. You as a manager, and they as your staff. You must not let your personal feelings get in the way of doing the right thing and making the right decisions
So there are a few tips to help you along your way to being a good manager. If you already practice these techniques, good for you! If you don’t, now is a good time to start!
This article was originally written by Ili Syazeaa with the title “How To Not Be A Terrible Manager” and was first published on Wobb, a job application platform for millennials who value the importance of good working culture.
Feature Image Credit: becomecareer.com