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How are you as a manager?

Personality, character flaws turn off employees

MANILA, Philippines—The saying “employees don’t quit companies, they quit managers” is a lesson learned the hard way by many managers and corporate leaders who have discovered the blind spots in their management style owing chiefly to personality or character flaws.

In an article written for Yahoo! Contributor Network, Kristie Janeway Jernigan says bosses may be classified as “authoritarians,” “buddies,” “manipulators” or “organizers.”

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She says “authoritarian” managers are always hovering over you and making sure you do the job the way they want. “This personality can be very pushy—they may not give you proper recognition for your work or they take all of the credit for the work the employees do. So a worker should not expect to get raises or climb up the corporate ladder while he/she is working for this type of manager,” she says. “These managers would need more submissive employees.”

Buddies and manipulators

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“Buddy” managers, on the other hand, want to be their employees’ friends. “They make their employees feel important,” says Jernigan. The downside is that these managers have the tendency to have an affair with their employees because they do not see any boundaries. “They may talk to you about their personal issues and ask your advice about their problems. Being friendly with your boss is not always a bad thing, but when it feels like the employees are making all the hard decisions or it becomes more than a work relationship, then you need to be cautious. An employee who has a strong personality and can draw boundaries would be best for these managers,” she advises.

Then there is the master manipulator type, Jernigan says. “Managers under this category are able to use psychology to their advantage by using employees’ emotions in their favor. They may make you feel like you are doing a disservice to the company if you don’t do something for them,” she writes. “They get their employees to do the dirty work for them; otherwise, they will make the life of their employees very difficult.”

“Organizers”

The “organizer” type of management personality is a great planner, Jernigan says. “Managers with this personality usually know what is going on with every piece of work in their office. They have excellent memory and can often remember names and dates. They are usually very intelligent and help out in projects when needed,” she adds. “They are usually very fair and are well respected by their workers. In fact, workers feel very comfortable coming to them. This type of managers can usually work with any type of personality because they are less abrasive themselves.”

“Evaluators,” “chaos makers”

Ann Reitman, a management expert, on the other hand, has other classifications of management styles. In her article “Five Management Styles that Hurt Employee Morale,” written for the same Yahoo content website, she says many of today’s managers belong to the baby boomer or late Generation X age.

“These generations have been raised in the wasteful, unsustainable promise of limitless growth where bigger, faster, stronger is equal to better,” she says, referring to insecure managers who focus on promoting themselves at the expense of their employees.

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Reitman says the “evaluator” types of managers maintain an air of superiority. “Their modus operandi is to constantly reevaluate and demand changes to the achievements of others. They use their influence to prevent the establishment of achievable and consistent standards so they can continue to make the rules,” she says. “Employees don’t feel motivated to challenge tasks because they anticipate rejection and can experience loss of self-confidence. Once this happens, they will seek opportunities elsewhere where their efforts are appreciated,” she says.

Managers, says Reitman, can also be “chaos makers” whose leadership style does not respect employee commitments. “They drop urgent ‘projects’ on their employees’ desks. Prioritization is accomplished by making everything that passes through their field of vision the most important thing. Since only they can fix the problems they created in the first place, their important role in the company as a go-to-person is kept secure,” she says.

Ego trippers, control freaks

Then there are those managers whose insecure management style is all about their ego. “Maintaining an image is all-consuming for these managers. They will have trendy business books on their shelves that they don’t actually read, but like others to think they do. They will be consistently late or absent for appointments to cultivate an image of being too essential to the operations,” Reitman says.

There are also managers who Reitman calls “controllers” or “control freaks.” Reitman says they micromanage their employees and create an environment of mistrust. “These managers are obsessed with staying on top of everything. They demand approving authority for even minor requests. They may keep a favored individual near them as a right hand for information. Because so much of their focus and time is spent on small details, it is difficult to follow through on long-term business initiatives that require ‘big-picture’ thinking,” she says.

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