I Wish My Manager Would Just…

April 9, 2013

We’ve all said it in our heads at some point or other. But what do you think your team have said to themselves about you? During the many workshops we have run for the thousands of people we have developed, there tends to be some common themes.

In this article we help to provide some feedback ‘en masse’ to all the managers who are prepared to look at themselves and say, ‘that could be me!’

So here are some real examples of endings to the sentence, ‘I wish my manager would just …’

… Stop Changing Their Mind

It can be very frustrating for any team when the boss is forever changing her mind. People need structure and something they can focus on. When that point of focus keeps moving then it becomes difficult for them to perform their tasks with any sort of consistency. The result is that people hold back for fear that they might be doing it wrong.

… Stay In Their Office

There are times when managers shouldn’t interfere. Most people like to have autonomy; they like to have the responsibility and the manager’s trust to get on with the job. Whilst a manager needs to monitor what is going on they need to be aware that if they jump in and try to make an instant change that there are going to consequences. Often managers do not know the detail of why things are done a particular way and that when they interfere it can actually cause unnecessary work.

… Give Me A Chance

This is often about trust. Some managers don’t want to let go or delegate tasks for fear of losing control. Many team members would love the opportunity to look after that large account or manage part of the team. Make your job easier by considering what could be done effectively by someone else if they were only given the chance.

… Ask My Opinion

You may be surprised to know that managers do not have to have all the answers. Employees everywhere would love to have their opinions listened to. Instead of just giving out instructions all the time, take the trouble to ask your colleagues what ideas they have. Consider the possibility that they might have some better ideas than you.

… Take Their Head Out Of Their …

Sometimes the ego can be just too much! We all want confident managers yet there are times when this can border on arrogance and self-promotion. Showing a bit of humility can earn much more respect from your team than trying to show how good you are.

… Stop Judging People Too Quickly

One example we heard recently was when a business was interviewing for some new people in the office. The manager was letting his supervisors run the initial interviews but as he saw each candidate walk across the car park he made comments about each one.

‘She’s five minutes late, she’s not going to be any good if she can’t get here on time!’

‘He’s wearing a smart suit and holding a folder, he’s going to be great!’

After the interviews had finished the conclusion from the supervisors was that the young lady was definitely much better prepared for the interview and also a good fit for the business. Admittedly she could have called to say she was going to be late and this feedback was given to her to which she agreed.

The young man, despite his appearance had not really done any research about the job or company he was applying for. It looked like he was making it up as he went along. Although he didn’t get the position he received some good feedback about his appearance.

For the supervisors who had to listen to their manager making the comments as candidates arrived, they felt their manager was being unprofessional. Luckily they were prepared to keep an open mind and were able to make a better judgment once they found out more about the people they were interviewing.

Hopefully sharing the thoughts of what people say about their managers will encourage managers to look at themselves though the eyes of their team. No one is perfect and understanding the impact of our behaviour can help us to grow into more effective managers. If you would like some feedback on how your personality and behaviours may affect the running of your team, contact us for information about management coaching from our team of experienced coaches.

Many thanks

Scott Rumsey

Senior Management Trainer & Consultant at MTD Training


(Image by Pakorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

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