This week’s guest post comes from Scott Collins and the CEB Sales Leadership Council. We have adapted the recommendations to help Market Insights managers improve your own specific environments.
If there’s one phrase about manager impact that I’ve learned and will never forget, it’s that “people don’t leave companies, they leave managers.” Even if people don’t leave, CEB research finds that having a bad manager drives down employee performance for up to five years. Whoa. Sounds like an easy way NOT to grow business is to manage poorly. Recently, Time wrote an article about “The 5 Absolute Worst Kinds of Bosses.” Here’s the list:
- The crooked politician: This is the politically savvy boss who is believed to have gained his or her position oftentimes through some form of “cheating.”
- The bully: The manager that has figured out who they need and how to influence those people, to get ahead. The bully manager craves power.
- The micromanager: Self-explanatory here. This manager can’t let go; he or she needs to have control and ends up getting involved in too much day-to-day work.
- The workaholic: The manager that doesn’t believe in any real type of “work-life” balance. This person often will send late night emails and expect (sometimes demand) immediate responses, because everything is “urgent.”
- The BFF: A manager that has no boundaries and is “diva-like.” This manager often uses direct reports as his or her sounding board and uses the team’s time and resources.
The good news for everyone on the Market Insights team is that not all managers fall into one of these categories (although, if you need some pointers, check out these tips for working with people you can’t stand). In fact, a few of the strategies used incorrectly by the bad managers outlined above can actually, when used properly, make you a more effective MI professional all around:
- Increasing Political Savvy: for us, political savviness is all about ensuring your insights are acted upon properly and in a timely manner. By planning for organizational obstacles, taking an activist role within the organization, and allocating discretionary efforts to insight-ready partners you aren’t becoming a “crooked politician,” you are seeing to it that the best business decisions are being made throughout your organization.
- Improving Influence: unlike “the bully,” who uses influence to get what he or she wants, MI professionals can use emotional influencing skills such as conflict resolution, versatility, and empathy to help strategic decision makers make the right calls. It starts with active listening to make sure that you understand issues from the client’s perspective. Only then can you apply negotiation, persuasion, and courage to make sure provide the most valuable insights at the right time.
- 5 Tips: Working with People you Can’t Stand
- 3 Tips for Turning that No into a Yes
- Negotiating with People Around the World, and Around Your Company
- 3 Work Mistakes to Avoid
- 6 Flawed Characters Found in Every Office