The Root of 99 Percent of Workplace Issues
Date: March 22nd, 2012
Blog Post by Scott Seroka
It’s too bad that some managers think of enrolling in leadership training as the last resort when they’ve lost control of their employees or have run out of ideas or suggestions on how to be a better manager. Feelings of defeat and failure usually surface because they associate training with incompetence, convincing themselves that they didn’t have the intelligence to figure things out on their own.
These managers likely experimented with a variety of management techniques thought to be effective based on how they have been managed in the past. Some techniques may have included micromanaging, managing through fear and intimidation, under managing , simply telling people what to do, and a host of other approaches that failed, or at best, worked okay with some but were ineffective on others. The biggest problem with trial and error managing is that employees are left confused and frustrated, not knowing who they will get the next day, week or month. It does nothing more than perpetuate and worsen already dysfunctional manager/employee relationships.
Why is leadership training quite possibly the most important kind of training managers can take? The biggest reason is because managing people can be extremely distracting and exhausting. As managers, we need to keep in mind that people (employees) are interested in one thing, and one thing only–getting their needs met. We must also keep in mind that when employees feel their needs are threatened, it causes conflict. And conflict is inevitable. And it’s how we, as managers resolve conflict that matters more than anything as conflict is the root of 99 percent of workplace issues. Knowing how to resolve conflict quickly, where everyone wins and gets their needs met requires a very specific set of skills that are taught in leadership training.
Employees don’t come with manuals that have a troubleshooting section on page 44. If you Google “how to fix attitude,” or “how to make my account executive more productive,” you’ll be overwhelmed with dozens of different ideas that once again, will require you to be a trial and error manager.
It starts with acknowledging that there is a problem as well as acknowledging that fixing people problems is a skill that you can learn. Once adopted and practiced, it will make your life so much easier.
And then see what happens when you transfer those listening, communication and conflict resolution skills into your other relationships. You’ll wonder why you waited so long.
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