What’s Right For …… ?

by | Jan 23, 2024 | Business | 0 comments

s to make surenIIf you answer ‘no,’ A great piece of work from Keith Murray (CMI) looks at the eight ways bad managers kills conversations – and motivation.

When you look at the eight  areas below, ask yourself to things; Do I do some of these things and do you someone that does?

1/ … are secretive and share as little information as possible – to them, information is power, so they deliberately choose to withhold it
2/ … are bad at giving feedback
3/ … are even worse at giving praise than giving feedback (employees always see managers who give praise as more effective)
4/ … are rampant one-way communicators who are on the ‘broadcast’ button all the time and have no interest in listening to people’s views or encouraging robust conversations to find ideal solutions. They care little about encouraging good communication between team members
5/ … are invisible, and prefer the security of their office walls to going out to talk to members of their team. They send emails at all hours of the day and night, even if members of their team are but yards away in the office
6/ … never prepare for presentations, preferring to speak off the cuff
7/ … have no sense of their audience and are completely unaware of the audience’s issues and concerns – they have a message to deliver and, by heck, deliver it they will, no matter how long it takes
8/ … are ambiguous, indirect or even lie, and never check whether people have understood a single word they said, and often use the phrase ‘you are not listening!’

 Okay. Do you recongise any of these behaviours from yourself? If your answer is ‘no’ it’s worth asking for some honest peer feedback to make sure. If you feel the eight areas as a personal attack on the way you manage, it is likely you do give out some of these vibes to your team. May be hard to take, but worth taking onboard.

Who of us would want to be working in a team led by a boss who exhibits any of the behaviours I have listed above?

These are toxic bosses, and they create dreadful cultures and poisonous places of work that are harmful to our health, and our ability to contribute meaningfully to our organisation. These are the bosses who will have high churn rates in their teams, with most of their employees looking to move to another department or even another company.

Happily, well-intended managers who truly want to improve their performance can address most of these bad behaviours. Being mindful of these destructive behaviours is a good place to start.

According to CMI research, as many as four out of five managers in the UK are accidental managers – those promoted to their role without adequate training. In the UK alone, that’s an estimated 2.4 million bosses. Imagine how many employees that affects? According to one estimate, less than half of all employees are satisfied with their manager. How many of them are feeling disengaged and demotivated? This brings with it a massive cost in lost productivity

Asking the right question to find the right answer

We managed the training tack facilities as part of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. It was an amazing insight into how to turn more than 2 years of planning into a practical delivery within the 7 weeks of setting up and the actual Games period.

Each day there were new challenges with what was planned versus what actually happened. For instance, with hundreds of athletes at the training venue, the long jump take-off board was badly worn causing issues for the coaches and athletes.

When faced with a situation, we always asked just one question. ‘What is right for the athletes?’ This made the answer quite simple. Replace the long jump board before the Sunday morning session.

Now the long jump take-off boards are different sizes and there were no boards available of the right size. A volunteer, who is also an athletics official, had a contact at the Abbey Stadium, in nearby Redditch. Another volunteer drove to the stadium and another athletics official volunteer set the new long jump board up to the correct dimensions. The next morning, the athletes jumped to their heart’s content or rather their coach’s heart’s content.

This is just one example of the unseen side of organising major worldwide audience events.

The big business lesson here is that anything can be achieved with the right focus. Knowing what your ‘what’s right for the …?’ question is key to finding the right solution.

If we had asked the question a different way there would have been a different result that would have had a different impact. For instance:

What is right for the budget? = make the athletes use the current worn-out long jump board.

What is right to minimise resources = close the long jump pit.

We have worked with organisations that pretend to ask the ‘what’s right for the customer? question and are really asking ‘What is right for our company?’ or/and ask multiple questions like ‘What’s right for the customer, company, politics, and budget?’. The result is internal chaos with miscommunication and misunderstanding galore across the business.

The skill is in asking the right question. It sets the focus and gives the solution.

Have a great month and email us at hello@businessarena.co.uk if you would like to know a bit more.

Best wishes

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