When Good People Are Managed Poorly

Good management matters whether you are running a business, a church or a family! It is a thing of beauty when good people are managed well, and it is a tragedy when good people are not managed well.

In StrenghtsFinder 2.0, Tom Rath explains that Gallup’s study of management indicated that “having someone at work who regularly focuses on your strengths can make a dramatic difference.” They discovered that there was a simple answer “to decrease the active disengagement, or extreme negativity, that runs rampant in organizations.”

If your manager primarily:          The chances of your disengaging are:

Ignores you                                              40%

Focuses on your weaknesses                     22%

Focuses on your strengths                          1%

“As you can see from these results, having a manager who ignores you is even more detrimental than having a manager who primarily focuses on your weaknesses. Perhaps most surprising is the degree to which having a manager who focuses on your strengths decreases the odds of your being miserable on the job.” [StengthsFinder 2.0, p. iii-iv]

Photo credit: Daniel Kulinski / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Having observed both extremes of the continuum between excellent and poor management, I would add the following:

  1. Go where you are appreciated and supported– This is some of the best advice that I was ever given by a mentor. Life is too short to stay in an employment situation that does not draw out the best in you.
  2. Attempt to draw out the best in others– If you are in a role of managing others, marshal all of your energies towards making the experience as developmental as possible for others. Some will respond to this and others will not, but the key is the effort that you put in as an overseer.
  3. Engagement always wins over disengagement– Silence is never a useful tool in management! Work at voicing your positive reinforcement and when you need to give guidance or correction be sure to speak the same way you would wish to be spoken to in those circumstances.
  4. Actively work at ridding the organization of toxicity– This means that difficult conversations need to happen earlier rather than later when your ‘gut’ as a manager tells you that something needs to be addressed.

Remember- each person is a gift that is to be stewarded (that includes you and those that you supervise)!

Q: What are some examples of good and bad management that you have seen?!


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.