Welcome to the 4th Quarter of 2016!
In the course of our work, we have been speaking with the various managers of our clients. One thing we noticed is that when our clients have some dysfunctional managers working in their organisation, there are certain negative traits that define that individual
We also found that these negative traits or critical mistakes made by dysfunctional managers tend to be the same for other dysfunctional managers across different companies in different industries and across a wide spectrum of cultures.
Hence, this month's topics:
This issue's main article is on "The 5 Critical Mistakes of Highly Dysfunctional Managers", and we the pathway to failure and destruction caused by these managers, and steps that both managers and these companies can take to prevent or overcome such issues.
The 5 Critical Mistakes of Highly Dysfunctional Managers
by c.j. Ng
Throughout the course of our work, we came across many cases of dysfunctional managers working in different organisations, and witnessed them causing poor performance and employee disengagement.
Interestingly, we also observed that these dysfunctional managers have 5 general traits or critical mistakes, regardless of their industry, positions, job functions or cultural backgrounds. These 5 mistakes can be summarized as:
When others correct, confront or challenge their mistakes, they become defensive, and may even retaliate against those people;
They then surround themselves with "yes-men", people who basically know how to appease the dysfunctional manager, rather than making contributions to make positive impacts for the company;
When performances turned bad, instead of reflecting on how they could have done better, they blame others for their own mistakes
And just to state the obvious, the results of having a dysfunctional manager would be:
Hence, it becomes crucial for management to identify who are potentially dysfunctional managers in their respective organisations, and then find out ways to reduce or correct the negative impacts of such dysfunctional behaviours.
Promoted to a Level of Incompetence
According to Peter Drucker, work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence, and that people get promoted to their level of incompetence. Hence, it's not uncommon to have managers not knowing exactly what they need to do. However it is uncommon to have dysfunctional managers that:
While it might be common sense for high-performing managers to seek help when they encounter challenges or stumble upon areas that are beyond their expertise, dysfunctional managers somehow are reluctant to ask for help, and may intentionally put on a facade that they know much more than they actually do.
At times, in order to impress their colleagues and especially their subordinates, they might:
At the same time, when they may also want to limit their subordinates' contact and interactions with other departments in the same organisation. This may include actions such as:
Big and Brittle Egos
Dysfunctional managers also tend to be defensive and might be volatile when others try to correct, confront or challenge them for their mistakes. They can over-react and attack the challenger, or if the challenger is a subordinate, may take retaliatory actions such as supplanting or isolating that subordinate.
Knowing the nature of the dysfunctional manager, subordinates may then be cautious about giving truthful and direct feedback. Thus, the dysfunctional manager might end out surrounded by "yes-men" who agree with whatever the dysfunctional manager said, rather than to provide suggestions that will deliver better results.
However, being "yes-men" does not make anyone safe from the dysfunctional manager. Eventually, when business performance falls, dysfunctional are quick to find scapegoats to blame. Rather than reflecting on how one can improve on the situation, dysfunctional managers tend to blame everyone else (apart from themselves) for all the ills and tribulations that had happened.
Now, there are a few things that management can do to rein in and reduce the damage caused by dysfunctional managers. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Here are some preventive measures:
Now what if there are managers that already are displaying dysfunctional behaviours? Here are some actions that management can take to mitigate the impact of dysfunctional managers:
Whichever course of action that management chooses to do, one thing is clear: it's much better to take immediate action to address such issues, than to drag and let small issues become huge catastrophes that cause major destruction.
Need help in managing dysfunctional managers in your company? Simply e-mail email@example.com or call +86-21-6219 0021 or WeChat: cydj001 and arrange to have a deeper discussion.
Power Breakfast Hour: 23 Nov 2016
The 5 Critical Mistakes of Highly Dysfunctional Managers
VENUE: Crowne Plaza Shanghai • 400 Panyu Road (near Fahuazhen Road) • 上海银星皇冠酒店 • 番禺路 400 号 （靠法华镇路）
DATE: Wednesday, 23 Nov 2016TIME: 08:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
PRICE: RMB 200 ONLY!
To make this a more conducive discussion, we are expecting a small group of about 15 people only, so please register early to avoid disappointments. Please e-mail your registrations too firstname.lastname@example.org
by Aline Kaplan
After one of my posts on bosses who exhibit the symptoms of one
disorder spectrum or another, Dr. Brian Monger of @SmartaMarketing
asked me if I could recommend any ways of dealing with someone
like that. It’s a tough question. Assuming that none of us in
corporate America have the kind of education and clinical
background to make an accurate diagnosis (and why would we be
working in a corporation if we did?) we employees are left to
cope with a set of inexplicable behaviors, attitudes and
communications. And no platform on which to stand while we do
The fact that so much is written on this topic indicates the scope of the problem in American business. My problem with some of this advice, though, is that the authors glom different behaviors into the one label whereas behaviors differ depending on what his problem really is. Having said that, here are some purely personal ideas and suggestions that might help, regardless of his dysfunction:
7 Survival Tips:
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