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How Do People Want to be Managed?


Guest Blogger

I heard “Manage others the way you want to be managed” three times in one day last week. The last time was at dinner with friends when Robby Slaughter and I simultaneously yelped “No!”

Robby and I may disagree about the usefulness of axioms in the workplace, but we’re both clear about the danger of platitudes that are wrong–if not downright harmful. This one is at least misleading.

One of the most common mistakes in communication is expecting others to understand, process information, and believe as we do–not the case. And yet most of us continue to base communications on this assumption. Attempting to manage others as we want to be managed is an example of this behavior.

Instead, people want to be managed how THEY want to be managed not how YOU want to manage them. One of the most effective ways to help direct reports reach their potential is to offer leadership that fits their needs–that inspires them. To accomplish this, you have to invest the time and consideration to learn others management expectations.

Management Styles
© Flickr User FTTUB

Motivators

People aren’t motivated by the same things; there’s no universal special sauce for motivation. People are motivated by a combination of factors including recognition, communication, income, benefits, stability, flexibility, and work environment. An effective manager will learn what motivates his staff and apply it.

Management Style

A co-worker shared this story about a direct report. The team member approached the manager of the department and told her, “Leave me alone and I’ll leave you alone.” She explained she would seek advice when needed and expected to be critiqued when her performance fell short but other than that she hoped to be left alone to do her job. She wasn’t very social and didn’t enjoy it. She found small talk painful. On the other hand, an outgoing extrovert may need constant inclusion. Successful managers learn what individuals need and adapt their management style.

Workplace Priorities

Even team members working on the same project will have varying priorities. For example, I was a member of a three-person marketing team. My priority was completing projects as quickly as possible—they didn’t have to be perfect, the second member wanted perfection regardless of time invested, and thank goodness, the manager was somewhere in-between. An effective manager knows the priorities of the individuals on her team.

Changing one’s thought process to quit assuming and begin learning what others need isn’t easy. It requires constant evaluation; we must determine if our actions are what others need or merely what we’re prepared to give. Do you know how your teammates wish to be treated?

Randy Clark is the Director of Communications at TKO Graphix, where he blogs for TKO Graphix Brandwire. Randy is passionate about social media, leadership development, and flower gardening. He is a beer geek and on weekends he can be found fronting the Rock & Roll band Under The Radar. He is the proud father of one educator, one Principal, has four amazing grand children, and a public speaking wife who puts up with him. His twitter handle is @randyclarktko, or search Facebook for Randy Clarktko.

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Tue, July 29 2014 » Change Managment and Learning Organization, Leadership

One Response

  1. robbyslaughter August 1 2014 @ 6:08 pm

    Agree, agree, agree! It's so easy to think that everyone is just like us.

    But, they aren't! And even asking them may not always be enough, because people don't always want to admit how they feel (especially at work.)

    Thanks for the post, Randy!

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