Beware of “Talking” Managers

February 27, 2011 / Comments (0)

Beware of your managers that talk a lot about their strategies, strengths, team building concepts and other grandiose notions.

The old adage “the proof is in the pudding” is very apt here. Usually managers that talk a lot about these “methods” are often found to be dropping slogans to big-note themselves (usually out of fear). They are a long way from understanding let alone adopting these methods. They require Leadership training.

As an example, I recently observed a manager that whenever involved in meetings (be-it one-on-one or in a group), talks at the rate of knots. She stresses that in her view it is all about listening to the team and operating on the basis of team feedback. However, at no stage did she really stop long enough to catch breath, let alone to create a real space where the team could contribute.

In a particular meeting, one of her team members, who was the only one still eager to rise above the barrage of her monologue and raise a point during question time was met with a “close” response! Something like, “I will collect everybody’s feedback and take it to management'”. This was feedback, her opportunity to listen, had she teased it out!

This is not to say that these managers will not meet the lowest required threshold to performance, embellished by their constant “qualifying” to management that all the negative outcomes are a result of externalities and that they are doing their best in “the given circumstances”. Just that these managers end up with a team that is not truly empowered, losing the Leaders amongst them and always struggling to get there, rather than allowing the team energy and capabilities to truly maximise opportunities and to grow into previously uncharted territories.

These type of managers are certainly not Leaders and will not create a Great Organisation complete with Leaders at every level.

It might be however that as the Leader of your organisation, you prefer this type of “driven” (as often, vocal is confused with driven) manager. Unfortunately, if this is you, then the prognosis is not good for your organisation. Your competition and their Leaders are operating in a different paradigm and will more likely than not, eclipse you.

Be a true Leader and ensure that your managers are Leaders too and that their Leadership shows-up in visible results, without the excessive “talking”.

Listening is the domain of the wise, excessive words are the domain of the fearful.

Last modified: April 12, 2018

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