What is your management style?

Management by fear

This is embraced by those managers with the least confidence an, often, ability. They lack people skills or understanding and believe that people will give of their best if they fear the consequences of not performing.

As a style, this form of management has an immediate, and apparently positive, effect that can fool the manager into believing that they have got it right. However, over time, the effects on staff of management by fear are low levels of commitment, prolonged absenteeism (after all, if you are going to be penalised for taking off two days sick leave, then you might as well take two weeks), high levels of presentee-ism, and high levels of staff turnover with all the on costs of advertising, interviews and training.

Management by friendship

It is true that that if no-one likes you, then you are not very good as a manager. But it also follows that if everyone likes you, then you are probably not a good manager either. Managers need to manage and that means making difficult decisions that affect staff. Not all decisions will suit everyone.

When a manager seeks to overcome the Peter Principle by being over-familiar with staff, they lose their authority and become open to manipulation by their friends that should be their staff.

Management by Respect

“Management by abdication” rather than “management by delegation”.

You see, for any person to function effectively, they need to have both power and responsibility. In most organisations, power and responsibility are separated. The person required to perform the task holds the responsibility, while the manager holds the power. Managers are often fearful of letting go of their power (delegation) so they hold onto it with a closed door policy that leads to their staff feeling abandoned, which becomes management by abdication.

So managers develop phrases like “just tell them to get on with it”, “failure is not an option”, “if you don’t like it, leave” and so on.

Mindful Management is all about accepting that we all have things to learn and areas in which we can grow and develop, and through understanding our self, our staff, and our customer, we can become very effective practitioners.

14. October 2011 by Mindful Managers
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