Letting Your Own Needs Interfere With Your Management Responsibilities

Letting Your Own Needs Interfere With Your Management Responsibilities You, of course, never do this. You are totally objective and above all such pettiness. Un-huh. And when you get over yourself, you can be welcomed back into the human race. In the workplace, companies demand everyone make decisions based on what’s good for the company and not themselves. You’re a team player if you do and a selfish, ambitious, and self-serving person if you don’t. So, it’s natural to present yourself as the company wants you to be. But your own needs can get in the way Unfortunately, companies aren’t entirely wrong (even though they are entirely self-serving) in their view. Enterprises generally work better if people think of the bigger picture rather than of their own advantage. Which still doesn’t take away from the very human need to try to get what is best for us (i.e. me) versus the balance of humanity. Everybody wants things to go their way. The issue is compounded for managers because they often have within their power to decide questions in which they have a personal stake. For example, in deciding holiday schedules, you have the final say and it turned out the…

How do I Manage to Minimize Groupthink?

How do I Manage to Minimize Groupthink? In the last post, I covered whether to deal with underground, and often incorrect, employee perceptions. I think you need to as a manager and doing so will help address one of the most pernicious undercurrents: groupthink. What is groupthink? Groupthink is one of several undercurrents of which most people are unaware but which can materially affect their careers. Specifically, groupthink is the tendency of a group to seek consensus even if it doesn’t produce the best solution. It is a major bar to innovation. In future, I’ll discuss the phenomenon in more detail but right now, I think it is sufficient to say that groupthink comes from an almost overwhelming need of most people to get along with their colleagues. This need can sometimes lead to papering over issues which should not be, or even starting to believe that you are in error because  of the group’s differing expressed views. This is what happened in the post on deciding holiday schedules. I realize that in the panoply of management responsibilities, deciding holiday schedules is right down there, but I chose that situation precisely because it is minor to show that undercurrents can…

The Dark Side of Work for Managers: Undercurrents

The Dark Side of Work for Managers: Undercurrents In the previous set of posts (The Dark Side of Work Revealed), we discussed how undercurrents in the workplace, such as power, groupthink, and lying, can affect your work life and career. This is as true for managers as it is for employees. But the issues may be different from the manager’s point of view. Let’s go back to the dialog on deciding holiday schedules. In the original situation, You, as the boss (Ned), tried to get agreement on how to parcel out time off over the holidays. But Thomas, one of your employees, thought you cut people off you disagreed with and suspected you of rigging the situation so it went your way. There are at least two issues in this admittedly minor incident. One is that Thomas is probably suspicious of you now and the second is how groupthink, like other work undercurrents, can affect everyone, even you.  I need to cover the first topic in this post before I can move onto the second in the following post. You did no such thing First, let’s deal with the belief you cut off discussion. You don’t see that—you were just…