Eliminate these three immature behaviors to garner more respect from your employees, co-workers and boss:
- Blowing up at your team. Toddlers have tantrums; managers should not. If one of your employees misses a major deadline, downloads a virus on the office network or—God forbid—drinks your last Diet Coke, keep your cool. Practice deep breathing. Go into your office until the urge to explode passes. Whatever you do, don’t lash out in front of your team. Of course you need to address problems such as missed deadlines quickly, but do it calmly.
- Saying someone “Always” does this or “Never” does that. Absolutes are dangerous words, so leave them out of your performance reviews (even if they’re informal). Imagine a teenager yelling at his or her parents “You never let me have any fun!” Don’t tell an employee “You never show up to meetings on time” or “You always leave the printer tray empty.” There’s no need to be so dramatic, and besides, it’s probably not true. Replace those absolutes with the more even-keeled “often” and “seldom.” Better yet, be specific about what you have observed. Example: “You have been at least 10 minutes late for our last three meetings.”
- Treating your team members like children. Nothing says “immature” like assuming that everyone else is too juvenile to behave properly. I’ve heard of all sorts of examples of this, from managers demanding doctors’ notes when a staff member calls in with the flu to timing lunch breaks with a stopwatch to speaking in infantile tones during a mediation session. Hire good people, and treat them as the adults they are. If you have staff members whom you really can’t trust to behave responsibly, it’s time to replace them.
What immature behaviors have you witnessed a manager exhibit?