As we close out the year, here are the top series of articles published by Manager by Design in 2011. See part 1 here.
Team Strategy Documents
Creating a system that encourages good management
All-team meetings (and why they’re hard to do well)
The annual review reveals more about the manager’s performance than the employee’s performance
“You don’t take feedback well” – and its ramifications
Becoming a manager – and the havoc it wreaks on one’s identity in the workplace
As we close out the year, here are the top series of articles published by Manager by Design in 2011. Enjoy and thanks to all who support the Manager by Design blog!
Areas where providing feedback is most useful
Giving feedback based on indirect sources (and how difficult this really is)
Using strategy sessions with employees (as opposed to just “feedback”)
Manager of Manager providing feedback to and about employees (and the difficulty it brings)
How to maximize the value of peer feedback
How managers receive (or don’t receive) feedback on managing
The Manager by Design Blog celebrates its 2-year anniversary today!
Let’s count down the top 10 most popular articles of 2011!
Thanks to all who have supported the Manager by Design blog. Keep reading the Manager by Design blog for great tips on people and team management, as well as deep thinking and analysis on how organizations can structurally improve how managers perform!
I’ve recently taken a philosophical turn in the Manager by Designsm blog. I’ve been drawing from Lacanian psychoanalysis to explore the concept of a manager ego. The short version is this:
- Managers lose their identities when they become managers
- However, they became managers based on their ability and expertise, which is their former identity
- They can no longer perform those former actions, and must perform new managerial actions
- These managerial actions, while based on the notion of personal greatness, are, by definition, new the manager and amateurishly performed.
- The first time such an amateurish action (like giving performance feedback to an employee) is performed, it shatters the notion that the manager is expert, effective and useful.
This step 5 I’m calling the “Mirror Stage” of being a manager. It’s the moment that, despite all sorts of evidence that the manager is terrific (hence the promotion to manager), there is the stunning evidence that the manager’s management technique is ineffective.
Here’s a likely – and concrete – scenario: A manager has to give performance feedback to the employee. The manager goes in with the expectation that the employee will agree, understand and implement everything the manager says. But this is nigh impossible. The employee could provide his own, different perspective on the situation, may not understand what the manager is trying to get across, or may not implement exactly what the manager had in mind. And that’s when an employee reacts well to the feedback!
What if the employee actively resists the feedback? The employee argues with the manager, says the facts are incorrect, and even says that the manager is wrong. There may even be an emotional reaction on the part of the employee. This is shattering to the manager’s ego, because this simple act of giving performance feedback didn’t go well (in the managers’ mind), despite the manager having a) authority b) expertise c) a greater general talent level than the employee.
In short, the act of giving performance feedback breaks the ego of the manager and provides a rather sudden and obvious moment where it is indisputably proven that the manager is not 100% effective at managing. So now there is now a problem associated with the act of managing.