Swing, Swing: The Pendulum Management Style (and Why It Does not Work)

Swing, Swing: The Pendulum Management Style (and Why It Does not Work)

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Which management style are you currently using today? Which have you use yesterday? Unsure? OK what about trying these questions

1. Have you ever carried out any people management activities today – or yesterday?

2. Have you ever found yourself frustrated today – or yesterday – from your staff, and also have you proven that frustration by shouting or seething?

Should you stated ‘no’ to the initial question and ‘yes’ towards the second my (uninvited) diagnosis is you may be in what I call the pendulum type of management! And you will be suffering correctly (have a lie lower on my small couch why not?)

The pendulum management style: from passive to aggressive and completely again

During the last twenty years I have stayed with countless managers – training them, coaching them and observing them. What I have observed is the fact that some managers use (although rarely with awareness) a method of management that swings (pendulum like) from passive to aggressive

This is what happens

The passive management style

The manager, frequently due to a insufficient skill or confidence, adopts a passive type of management. They avoid something that feels for them ‘managerial’ e.g.

· Saying yes objectives or performance standards

· Monitoring staff performance

· Giving performance feedback

· Discussing job satisfaction

And so forth

They’ll react to demands using their staff as well as their own management what they do not do is bring a focused structure method of managing their staff

Caused by the passive style

Unsurprisingly this passive management style frequently leads to staff underperformance. Staff aren’t obvious on which they must be doing, the work they do is not monitored so mistakes or areas for improvement aren’t identified rapidly enough, they do not get the performance feedback they require so that they can’t build upon what they’re succeeding or improve what they desire to enhance. Their manager does not appear thinking about their job satisfaction so their reason is very cheap. I am guessing you have the image??

Obviously these performance problems will in the end sooner or later change up the manager which usually leads to some frustration or anger (Why can’t people simply do what they are compensated to complete? So why do I usually have to work through these complaints? How is he going to have believed that works? It’s surprising she did that!)

Once the manager’s frustration drives them into action it generally sparks the pendulum and swings the manager (at some velocity) towards…

The aggressive management style

Around the most apparent level the manager here has made the decision ‘enough is enough’ and ‘they’ve should be told’ and ‘I’m not meaning this’. They’ll decide you’re ready to give some ‘no holds barred’ feedback. They frequently deliver this feedback as critique and in a manner that, even most abundant in generous of hearts, we could not label as constructive. They’ll frequently criticise in public places and aim the critique in the whole team, instead of individual staff (which rarely ends well)

In a nutshell they’ve got a rant and rave

A less apparent degree of aggression happens when the manager is holding their temper but seething inside. The aggressive management style here could be shown with a) ignoring employees member they believe accounts for the issue b) making gibes or sarcastic comments c) speaking critically concerning the employee to other people

In a nutshell they’ll seethe

Eventually, obviously, the storm will blow over. The manager will calm lower. The crisis may have been averted (or at best worked with) and also the manager are now able to easily return to the pendulum and go back to the calmer waters of – yep you suspected – the passive style

The price of the pendulum type of management

I am guessing you can observe how ineffective this management style is? How de-motivating it’s for that staff? How demanding for that manager?

What is the choice?

Stopping the pendulum

The best way for managers to prevent the pendulum is, first of all, to prevent being passive about management. When managers set up a focused, structured system for managing their staff’s performance and job satisfaction then, by simply following through, the pendulum is stopped

Obviously, even if managers effectively manage performance, sometimes problems arise (although rarely as frequently as when managers are passive). The main difference here’s, since the manager includes a performance management system in position, these complaints tend to be simpler to recognize rapidly and far simpler to cope with. No aggression needed!

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