Good managers don’t clean up messes caused by their staffs. They prevent messes from happening. Carl, head of a division, finally had to fix the problems in a department run by a senior manager, Brenda. He transferred one supervisor and three high-ranking staff members to other departments. He was satisfied: once again, he showed that he could be decisive and clean house.
But Carl had consistently ignored my advice that the head of that department was a problem. Even with the housecleaning, he didn’t make the changes necessary to keep the problems from resurfacing later.
To read the rest of this article from the Jacksonville Business Journal, see: Managers must be decisive in handling problems http://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/stories/2009/02/02/smallb5.html
Carl’s permissiveness allowed Brenda to create a toxic culture of conflict-avoidance and passive-aggressiveness that diminished productivity throughout her department. Abusive, harassing, bullying, unprofessional behavior included back-stabbing, innuendos, rumors, negativity and warring cliques; leading to widespread paranoia and over-reactions.
Carl and Benda ignored the widespread evidence that some people simply didn’t like each other and wouldn’t collaborate, and that for some people, personal agendas took precedence over company goals. Also, some people behave decently only when they are actually held accountable by meaningful consequences. Real-world bullies won’t behave, no matter what.
Learn what you can do to eliminate the high cost of conflict-avoidant, passive-aggressive low attitudes of managers and staff.