Jan 22, 201309:16 AMAfter Hours
with Jody Glynn Patrick
Is your manager a cat whisperer or a dirty dog?
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Management is very much like cat whispering. Those best at herding cats are folks who (1) like and respect cats, (2) understand what motivates and/or distresses cats, (3) know where the cats need to go once they are rounded up, and (4) can authentically communicate points (1), (2), and (3) to each and every cat. So, just between us, let’s evaluate the managers in our lives and also our own attitudes toward our workplaces.
Cat whisperer (“yes” answers to the little quiz below) or dirty dog (“no” replies)? He or she:
- Bases decisions on facts rather than opinions.
- Avoids the “Ivory Tower Syndrome”; welcomes interaction with subordinates.
- Doesn’t play the blame game when things go wrong, or take all the credit when things go right. Calls attention to others’ accomplishments and contributions.
- Feels bound by the same time constraints as staff; punctual with meetings, etc.
- Doesn’t skew attention toward bottom-performing 80% of staff at expense of top-performing 20%. Shows concern and interest in talented, promotable people.
- Privately redirects or dismisses staff; does not use a public forum to humiliate or “correct” poor performance.
- Is comfortable depending on staff for real solutions or significant input.
- When talking to the CEO or owner of the company, discusses plans for today’s challenges, rather that spouting constant reminders about how much the company depends on him or her to run things. Gives the CEO relevant updates, even if the news isn’t as good as expected.
- Clearly expresses desired process or outcomes regarding a complicated task or project, reducing the likelihood of failure.
- Seeks out ongoing personal improvement opportunities whether the company pays for them or not, setting the example of being a lifelong learner.
- Takes professional risks.
- Challenges or answers company criticism without participating in it.
Let’s say your manager is more a dog (gasp!) than a cat whisperer. Here’s empowerment to improve your own job satisfaction: (Continued)