From the Blog

Navigating Around Difficult Managers

06/07/12

On LinkedIn, I recently came across the following question and wanted to share my thoughts:

Any suggestions on how to negotiate, navigate around difficult managers who are highly strung, opinionated and not very good at coaching their more challenging staff on better performance or discussing any issues with them and documenting the process?

In our survey work, we have been doing a bit of our own research. As a demographic, YES, NO and MAYBE were the selections for "I really respect my manager". The YES responses produced good to very good scores on ALL engagement, alignment and operational excellence measures. The NO and MAYBE responses produced very poor scores. After only 3-4 surveys with this question, the results so far are very consistent.

Manager engagement seems to be a CRITICAL element in business culture.

What we have been doing to work with managers is creating a sense of self-awareness. Using survey data as a coaching tool, you are able to isolate and present the findings so he or she can actually see what others think of them. That is actual self-awareness. We compound that self awareness in our coaching by correlating bad manager scores to the poor scores in the business operational and alignment measures.

In other words, your bad manager behavior, as assessed by many, is negatively impacting good or best business practices. Bad behavior is monetized and all can see the results. It even has an impact on the boss! When combined with external coaching, we see huge results.

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