Taking a close look at your own supervisory strengths and weaknesses might not be fun, but it sure can help you with your own productivity, and your team’s.
I know, you are an awesome manager – everything you touch turns to gold and your people revere you. That being said, there’s always room for improvement! Acknowledging what you struggle with can be just as useful as being aware of what you do well.
Below is a ridiculous list of three extreme management traits. But let's be honest, can you spot hints of yourself in there?
There is NO doubt you are the boss. You make the rules and everyone falls in line. But hey… is it possible you are a bit too ...assertive?
Strengths: Aside from your bulging muscles, luminous green skin and ability to open any jar in existence, you get things done. There is no goal you can’t achieve and you command results from others.
Challenges: Fear only works as a motivator for so long. If you are tearing through a few outfits a day, Hulking out on your people, you are pretty much inviting any sane employee to look for another job. Even if they don’t leave, having such a fiercely aggressive personality will inhibit others, instead of inspiring them. Some of those folks you hired may have pretty good ideas that are worth expressing.
You are kind, friendly, nice to everyone. Your management style is so precious, people put its picture on the internet with cute little, badly spelled captions. Your people love you! … And walk over you like a doormat.
Strengths: You keep staff happy; they know you care about them. You create a fun work environment and foster a sense of team.
Challenges: As much as it pains me to say this, people will take advantage of a nice guy. Someone is always going to test boundaries, and the worst even need an occasional slap on the wrist from their manager to begin to respect him/her. If you aren’t ready to hold everyone accountable, you will have some people working their bottoms off and others coasting along collecting paychecks.
You don't miss a trick; you have your eye on everyone and have an almost psychic ability to detect when someone has made a mistake...or maybe it's the video monitors all over the place.
Strengths: Your staff follows the rules and rarely makes mistakes. If they do, you are right on hand to correct it and them. You have a great idea of people’s strengths and weaknesses.
Challenges: Apart from the expense of the surveillance equipment and the stress to yourself from keeping track of every little detail, people tend to be demoralized by micromanagement. If they know what they are doing, they need to be trusted to do it. And again, you might want to give employees the chance to try their own methods and express ideas. It’s possible, they have some pretty good ones.
Then there’s Speedy Gonzales who wants everything yesterday and changes deadlines, plans and procedures so often and quickly he leaves people’s heads spinning; Spock, who considers every factor in the management equation, except the human one; and Chatty Kathy who wants to have a “quick” meeting, phone call, one-on-one or chat about every situation resulting in very little time spent actually working.
Honestly, these are just caricatures of traits most of us have to some extent, but seeing them in ourselves and acknowledging them is the first step to exploiting the strengths, working around the weaknesses and maximizing the potential of employees.
To quote Sir Richard Branson, “Businesses are nothing more than a group of people, and they are by far and away your biggest assets.” Are you doing everything you can to bring out the best in your group of people?
Considering a more detailed (and more serious) exploration of management assets and growth opportunities?