There are two kinds of managers and both types communicate in two very different styles.
One is the Hands-On: They criticise and judge their staff.
If, as a manager, you choose to judge (criticism, implied or otherwise), you will provoke defensiveness and withdrawal, not creativity or productivity.
When you hammer your people or find them coming up short, this is when you then start to criticise and micromanage them. In this age of sensitivity of the knowledge-based worker, that is a self-destructive cycle. It engenders nothing but resentment.
When we judge our people and then hold grudges, we are giving our power away. When we resent a team member, we are giving that power to that person we are angry with by allowing him/her to occupy and dominate our thinking. The real power in leadership comes from partnering with your staff and not criticising them.
The other one type is the Hands-Off: They mentor and coach their staff.
The ‘hands-off’ manager sets himself apart by retaining all his power. His practice is to understand everyone he meets. By doing this, he is reducing his own stress level at work. He is completely aware that every time he judges someone, he alters his own well-being.
So he refuses to assign the responsibility for negative feelings to that person he is tempted to judge. He assigns the responsibility for this low feeling to the thought he has formed about that person. Only these thoughts create stress, not the people. This is his mental attitude.
Please take a moment to ponder… What kind of a manager are you?
Group Managing Director, QI Ltd