How do you feel when you walk out of your manager & office, after a meeting or a performance review?
Empowered and Motivated! …or Disempowered and Demotivated?
If you feel empowered and motivated, you have an excellent manager, but, if you feel disempowered & demotivated, then you are dealing with a “ruthless manager”.
It is probably, in all sense, a good reflection that the Manager has been working in the same organization for many years, it displays loyalty, and possibly offers a feeling of comfort. It also makes the Manager indispensable and a storehouse of knowledge, and may even have been a pioneer, in the establishment and running of the department, in a particular way. Then again, when outsiders come to a company as a fresh new Manager, they may have difficulty understanding the existing culture of the company, and may not have much experience of the marketplace, nor the company’s main competition. There is an imperative on the head of the organization to work closely with department managers, to ensure staff are retained in their roles, are properly trained, and can manage their workload, so that the workforce is happy, and that there are no continuous resignations of staff members.
Some managers have a bias towards staff of a particular gender, which may become very apparent when a headcount is taken of the department. This bias may be due for many reasons, for example, it may be due to a personal issue (e.g., an ugly divorce, a cheating partner, or someone who stands up to their aggressive behavior or calls out their dominating behavior), hence, they prefer hiring a fresh inexperienced candidate (of their preferred gender) to groom and shape them to their liking, as opposed to hiring experienced candidates, because they not only bring about fresh changes but also question the utility of certain processes and ways about running the department itself. This can make the team like working with the new experienced candidate, and make the manager feel jealous and perhaps even insecure.
This is how the jealous and insecure manager reacts:
· Becomes unapproachable
· Becomes unresponsive
· Remains unprepared
· Starts bullying or harassing staff
· Plays favouritism
· Starts micromanaging
· Displays negativity to those around them
· Does not lead by example
· Practices low emotional intelligence
· Fails to provide positive feedback
When you notice your manager exhibiting the above behavior, “Get Out”. Start looking for a new job. Because it will be foolish of you to think that there will ever be a change. This Manager has been there for years, and their modus operandi has taken years in the making. By you trying to stand up to them, it is not going to change anything. In fact, you may have to endure the wrath of your boss. Don’t be a hero.
Know that it is not your fault, no matter how much you have been made to feel otherwise. Those meetings and discussions, performance reviews labelling you incompetent, lazy, a failure are all by means tactics, to kill your self-esteem and disengage you from your meaningful and rewarding work. Such managers carry an amazing talent to not only turn high performing staff to an incompetent one but, also to demotivate the entire team and the department.
Find a confidante with whom you can share what you are going through. A person who can listen, understand, and empathize. Dealing with such managers can make you feel isolated because people who have been groomed by them, are their natural loyal minions, who won’t stand up against them, and may have been either fed misinformation about you, or they side with the Manager, fearing they have become victims as well. But then again, make sure this confidante can be trusted, because they may try to play the diplomat, and reason things out for you, without understanding, or refusing to understand, the entire situation. In such cases it is best to discuss the issues with a family member or a professional counselor, whom you can find through your company’s employee assistance plan.
But if you are unable to take it anymore, resign. It is okay to resign and choose mental peace. I know this is easier said than done. You may have bills to pay, you could be a sole bread earner for the family and there could be people who depend on you. In such a case, hang in there until you find a new job and then resign or, resign and start looking for a new job during your notice period.
Such managers do not deserve your sympathy. Distance yourself from such managers. Do not give them power by engaging with them. If there are any conversations or meetings organized, request for a neutral employee to be present at such a meeting, if you can’t find one, request an HR personnel to be present during the meeting.
Remember if the bullying and harassment still continues, do not hesitate to contact the Fair Work Ombudsman and they will be able to guide you through the process.
The information and views expressed in the blog are individual and inspired from the writer’s experience and study in Mental Health & Hypnotherapy.
All copyright reserved.