Management is the process of getting activities completed efficiently and effectively with and through other people. Management styles come is all shapes and sizes. Management is not leadership. The internal and external environments have influences on management behaviors. Management styles range from a transactional to a charismatic manager style with most somewhere in the middle. A transactional manager is about the numbers, the charismatic manager creates free-style agendas, and a team approaches where there is an intuitive commitment to the goals of the organization. The exception is micro-managers or for the article the stymie manager.Simplistically explained, a stymie manager cannot understand the vision of the organization, has personality issues ranging from a lack of self-confidence to insecurity issues about his or her position. A business dictionary definition is a close, detailed, and often de-motivating style that scrutinizes employees’ work on a continuing basis.Examples of a stymied management are, a task is assigned with little or unclear directions. Once a project is assigned, there are constant reminders or question of when the project will be complete and there is an onslaught of questions of the current progress. There is constant interruptions with new tasks, overriding the old tasks in making this new priority.One would be remiss if we never fallen victim or acted in a micro-management style. Different triggers cause people to change his or her style, resulting in acting in a micro-manager style but as intelligent workers, we need to know and understand the reasons. Micro-management in some situations is necessary, but the overuse of micro managing is counterproductive. Knowing when to act as a micro-management and knowing when to change this style is to most a basic management requirement. If a manager is constantly in the micro-management mood there will be a lack of initiative, it creates apathy, it results in a substandard product, nobody learns anything, and there is little growth.Many people that encounter this style of management become frustrated and bogged down with work, spiraling out of control. In this situation, there are three alternatives one can do; 1) deal with it and hope this manager implodes, 2) find another job, or 3) develop a strategy that keeps the job in perspective and the boss off your back.Based on the three alternatives, if the answer is to develop a strategy one must first look into the mirror and understand the amount of emotional commitment necessary to turn the situation around. Once you come to grips with your own emotions and realize that to move forward there needs to be a resiliency required in meeting the responsibilities of the job. To build effective communication one can start by evaluating his or her listening skills. This could be hard based on past emotions and how information was filtered in the past but this will be important in changing the work behaviors. During communication exchanges with the manager do not be concerned about asking clarity questions, it is always the responsibility of the speaker to have the listener understands but in this case, the responsibility is yours. Generate a running list of the tasks with times of when initially asked and the follow up communications. This may be hard to accomplish, but it is essential to develop the data needed for when the moment is right in scheduling that one-on-one talk with your manager. Remember if you want to make a change, one needs to use facts and diplomacy.Once you have collected the data, the next step is to develop a plan much like a marketing or business plan that focuses on strategies to improve performance. The conversation with your manager, which is a sales pitch that cannot be attacking or adversarial but a presentation that sticks to the facts of the project and on the current work conditions. The focus is also on the facts that need to be shared at this meeting with referencing the key performance indicators and long-term goals.Knowing that a basic trait of a stymied manager is the need to be in charge, using opened ended questions and allowing the stymied manager to give his or her advice is critical because, you do not want to come across as the one in charge. Asking his or her opinions and direction throughout the conversation is critical, especially during the first few conversations with this new communication strategy. The goal is to show the manager you have his or her back and not trying to undermine or discredit his or her decisions.After building a better communication process, the next step is developing strategies to improve performance and meet the expectations of the job. A first step is taking a more proactive approach in over communicating more frequently in getting back to the manager with updates. This may be hard to accomplish at first but going to the manager first versus dealing with the onslaught of e-mails and phone calls, you eliminate answering these question when the manager wants, and you changed the communication requirement to meet your schedule. Another suggestion is to schedule a short meeting during the day in which you come with an agenda keeping the conversation on point and focused. Taking control of communications is important in reducing the nagging, which will improve your own performance and work attitude.The next step is to change the mind-set of the manager by developing a method of delegating results. An analogy would be a conductor of a band. The conductor writes the music and the musicians play the music.Remember that if your manager is successful, so are you, and whether your manager is a charismatic manager or a stymie manager, his or her success will be your success.
Stymied Management – Part of the Problem or Solution – You Decide
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