Do Your Employees Control You?

Do Your Employees Control You? In my recent post, Power—The Hidden Engine at Work, three employees vie for a new responsibility and one—Mike—wins by snowing his boss Galen. In this post, I’ll discuss how this shift in control happened and why it’s important. Off the top, I realize that ‘control’ is a harsh word. I just couldn’t think of another word for the phenomenon. In addition, I recognize that for the most part, employees are not scheming and nefarious people; they’re just trying to have things go in their favor. A completely human thing to do. The problem arises when the manager doesn’t recognize this undercurrent and gets caught up in it. How did Mike control Galen? Every organization has them—hot button words or phrases which are sacrosanct. Might be lean and mean, quality first, company brand, what’s best for the company, budget discipline, etc. You can probably identify some in your own company. The curious thing is that whenever these hot buttons are mentioned, everyone figuratively stands up and salutes. And there is a rush to ensure that the hot button item is protected. In our scenario, almost without realizing it, Galen fell for phrases like company brand and…

Building Respect in Your New Management Position
Manager Stream , Power for Managers / March 12, 2018

Building Respect in Your New Management Position If life were fair, or even just convenient, people should automatically respect you simply because of your new elevated position. But if you’re waiting for that to kick in, I’d hunker down for a long wait. In your previous jobs, you know that you had to earn your boss’ trust and respect. Same in a management position. But now you’ve got three groups to worry about. Below is a non-exhaustive list of how to earn respect from each group. Your boss. Much of what you learned as a stellar employee will apply here. How to get respect What that actually means What it does not mean Deliver on promises ·      Meet deadlines ·      Inform will miss deadline as soon as you know ·      Meet quality standards ·      Overpromise ·      Pull fast ones to appear  to meet the deadline Have your boss’ back ·      Inform boss if/when the s. is going to hit the fan ·      Position him to look good ·      Defend his interests when he’s absent ·      Bad-mouth him behind his back ·      Disagree with him in public Manage your own area well ·      Deal with people problems effectively ·      Motivate your…

As a New Supervisor, is Respect Most Important? Part Two

As a New Supervisor, is Respect Most Important? Part Two In a previous post, you decided not to make a change which your employees (represented by Candice) wanted. You need to let Candice know. How can you promote both her respect and liking and still disappoint her? Saying No Don’t be off-hand about telling Candice. That is, don’t throw it out over a coffee break or send her an e-mail. Doing so may promote the idea that you don’t respect her—and by extension, the group’s—ideas. Instead, set aside some time to talk. You: Candice, I’ve thought about it and I don’t think the process change is a good idea after all.   Candice: What? But you wanted it, too. Give the reason. Calmly. You: Yeah, but I didn’t realize that the other sections need to know what’s coming so they can plan their work. Don’t expect her to fold. Candice: But we can do any fixes in the next release. Keep trying to explain. You: But that holds up the other units’ work.   Candice: Not that much. Anyhow, they’re always whining. You don’t have to justify forever. You: I think it’s enough so that we need to stick with…

As a New Supervisor, is it Most Important to be Respected by Your Employees? Part One
Manager Stream , Power for Managers / February 26, 2018

As a New Supervisor, is it Most Important to be Respected by Your Employees? Part One In the last post, as a new supervisor, you made a work change which everyone in your group liked but got you into hot water with your boss, Bruno. You bought popularity with your group at the expense of a misstep with Bruno. [1] In this post, I want to discuss what would happen if you went for being respected or at least making up your mind yourself and not giving into group pressure. Reprise In the conversation You had with Candice in a previous post, she pushed to implement a change and you agreed. Let’s see what could happen if you don’t, by picking up that conversation near the end. Candice: Well, will you or won’t you?   You: Ah… You are clearly unsure. Candice: Come on, Mia. Everybody will be really happy if you do.   You: Well, I guess so. But you are not listening to yourself. Instead: You: You know, let me think about it. Don’t expect Candice to give up easily. Candice: Ah, come on, Mia. You know it’s the right thing to do. Stick to your guns. You:…

The Perils of Trying to Be Liked by Your Employees
Manager Stream , Power for Managers / February 19, 2018

The Perils of Trying to Be Liked by Your Employees I know, sounds ridiculous. If people hate you, you can’t get their cooperation, you can’t motivate them, they won’t help with reaching the unit’s goals and frankly, it makes for an unpleasant and stressful work place. So there are lots of good reasons why you want to care whether your employees like you. But in a management position, you sometimes need to make decisions which aren’t popular with your unit. And in that weird way that is life, if you don’t make them, you’ll end up being disliked anyhow. Let’s consider what would happen down the line if your priority was being liked by your employees rather than being respected. Going for being liked So, let’s assume that you’ve been supervising the unit for a couple of years and have bent over backwards to be popular with the staff. This has included going for a beer after work, accommodating the personal preferences of employees, doing some of the work yourself to relieve the load, always being pleasant, and avoiding criticizing whenever possible. Let’s say you could be a fly on the wall for a conversation between two of your employees…