The biggest bird on the block in terms of building nest know-how still have to manage their flock, lessons from problem managers

A recent survey in the Canadian HR Reporter, by Claude Balthazard, reported on human resource professionals’ take on problem managers.  Cleaning up after them.  Sometimes repeatedly.

The article had some interesting things to say about some organizational cultures tolerating problem behaviour.  A disappointing 35.2% said ‘if they deliver results, we tolerate just about anything’. Talk about being short sighted.  Imagine the motivation (or lack) of the rest of the staff.

As a trainer who goes into many different organizations I can say from experience how much organizational cultures differ (and not just on how they respond to problems).

I created a word cloud from the responses to the question ‘what do these managers do that creates the most problems?’ The larger the word the more common the response.  The smaller the word the less common the response. You can also see the word cloud here.

Anything pop out at you?

Here’s what I noticed:

  • all of the items (save possibly ‘failure to abide by employment standards’) are all related to being able to communicate effectively, with both emotional and cultural intelligence
  • you might be the biggest bird on the block in terms of building nest-know how, but if you can’t manage your flock they won’t be able to fly
  • our brains aren’t built to handle too much stress and still be able to highly function.  If we’re stressed, feel disrespected, bullied, discriminated against etc. we downshift to our lizard brain and focus on the basics – fight, flee or freeze – not exactly the stuff of an engaged, productive workforce.

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