Mark saw his bosses’ reaction to his project and knew he was in trouble. “She’s so picky. Why does everything have to be done exactly her way?” Karen, Mark’s boss had the opposite reaction, “Why can’t he just do exactly what I tell him? Why does e have to improvise?”
Bosses are usually good at what they do, that’s why they’re the boss. But supervising effectively is a skill set that isn’t easily learned. A Harvard Business Review article describes three kinds of poor supervisors: “the indecisive boss,” “the insecure manager” and the “all-knowing leader.” Regardless of which category a boss fits in, each can end up being overly critical.
According to an Officevibe.com survey, 65% of employees would prefer a new manager to getting a raise! Overly critical bosses demoralize staff, erode trust and chase away high performers who don’t like being micromanaged.
If you recognize “picky, picky, picky” in yourself and would like to be less critical, try these suggestions.
Share why you’re hard to please. Are you pushing because you hope to help your employee discover their potential? Be more transparent and explain that you are being critical because you have high expectations.
Understand that good intentions aren’t enough. Be respectful when providing criticism or trying to motivate an employee, back up your statements with specific examples, recommendations and opportunities for the future.
Encourage two-sided communication. Practice active listening. Remain calm, ask questions and give your employee the floor.
Strong leaders have strong opinions and take decisive action. But it’s equally important for managers to stand down and listen up. Being known as an overly critical boss alienates employees. When you review any project, be sure to include a positive comment. When you encourage meaningful, give and take discussion, relationships and conversations improve.
The road is easier together,