On Managing:



It’s been a while.
Sorry about that.

I’m currently developing opinions about managerial styles.
Because I seem to be collecting a basket full of basketcases.

Are you a manager?

Lean on in.


1. Do not belittle, demean, or otherwise abuse your staff. If the language you are using is not what *you* would want to hear addressed to *you* from your superior, do not use it with your staff.

2. Mind your tone. Many, many managers use accusative language instead of inquisitive. If you don’t like the way a staff member has done something, that’s fine–but just say it, don’t ask “why”, or “what were you thinking”–this type of language just frustrates your staff. “Why”? Because he or she was trying to get the project done, dammit.

3. Back. Off. Seriously, just back off. Lurking behind an employee’s chair is rude and unhelpful.

4. If you are a micromanager, own up to it. Expressing that something is your preference as opposed to it being the “best” or “right” drops everyone’s defenses, and you will be prone to far fewer eyerolls in the staff lounge (yes, we talk about you. yes, everyone knows when you lose your shit. if you think people don’t respect you, you are probably correct). Additionally, take the time to show your staff how you want a project done if you absolutely need to do so. It would be better for everyone concerned if you just let go of things a little, but if that’s asking too much, at least have the sense to train and explain.

5. Allow grace. Everyone has bad days. If you take the time to notice what’s going on in the lives of your staff, and to be kind to them, chances are you will be rewarded with employees who are willing to work harder for you.

6. It’s okay if you don’t understand tech. Acknowledge this, and trust your staff members who do.

7. Learn to listen. Interrupting is unfathomably rude, and muddles what people are trying to tell you.

8. Do you have employee evaluations? Great. Now get evaluations for managers as well–have your employees set *you* goals and see if you can meet them in a year. This should help remind you of how difficult it is to deal with constant criticism and little praise.

9. Tell staff members when they have done a job well. Even if it’s just a nicely composed email, or if they organized a cabinet–whatever they have done that is excellent, encourage it directly, with specific praise.

10. Answer questions. Telling employees to “look it up” is often singularly useless, particularly if your database of information is enormous.

11. Do not make your employees afraid to call other departments for help when they need to. That does not create a work environment of trust and mutual assistance.

12. Allow your staff to decorate their desks–it doesn’t actually matter if you don’t like their taste in Star Trek posters. Chances are they think your tacky “inspirational quotes” posters are awful. Be cool with the mutual awfulness (unless porn is involved. then definitely don’t allow that noise).

13. You are more high-strung than you think. You are not the clear communicator you believe you are. Your employees know when you are in a bad mood. We pay attention to *you* because you cut our paychecks. Please pay attention to *us* because we are working FOR you.

(You make us want to do this sometimes)


14. Some employees are dicks. Sorry about that.
But? You have the ability to fire them. Some managers are dicks. Employees can’t fire them in return. Please keep this in mind when you’re feeling ragey.

15. Above all else? Be kind. Build loyalty in your staff with behavior that is rational and polite. If you are thoughtful, sincere, and kind, your employees will generally respond in the same way. Productivity generally goes up when people feel cared for.


I don’t know why any of these points need to be made.
Treat people the way you would want to be treated.


I’m pretty sure Christ said that.

And He’s had billions of people follow and obey Him for a couple of thousand years.

Pretty good management, oui?


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Christina O
    Aug 02, 2013 @ 15:11:55

    Sounds like you might be working for my former boss. She was crazy, a micro-manager, spied on her employees all the time, told us to look it up when we went to her for help, knew nothing about IT work, among other things. 😦


  2. Angie Poole
    Aug 02, 2013 @ 18:13:49

    I try to follow these guidelines. I have seen some of these things in people I’ve worked for or in people I’ve worked with, and know the impact on morale they have. I confess that I’ve told someone to look things up before, but it’s because it’s something that is easy to look up and there’s a first resource to check before asking questions. If you’ve been told repeatedly to check there first and don’t, expect me to tell you to do it or to ask you what that resource says.

    I snapped at one of my employees the other day, and I apologized to him. I don’t care how mad IT made me by assuming that I, in a completely different location, when asking for help with an issue with data that comes from a database for a program I have never even used, would know exactly which field in said database said data would be found. How would I know that? How is ignoring my request for 8 months then basically telling me I don’t know what I’m talking about helping? It’s not. That’s you not understanding the question, and assuming that your lack of understanding of what I need is because there’s really no problem, when you never took the time to find out what was really going on. Catch me in the middle of that and there might be collateral damage, but that doesn’t excuse me being rude to him. That department’s incompetence and lack of internal customer service isn’t his fault!

    We don’t have individual desks anymore where I work, and it’s stadium style seating, so there aren’t really walls to decorate. I still managed to keep little Doctor Who toys lying around, though ;). I know it’s not wonderful to not have your own work space, but we have more employees than desks and we’re there 24×7…

    You can come work for me, though I don’t think it would be your choice environment. Definitely high stress. Oh, and we can’t fire someone for being a dick…


  3. Sister
    Aug 02, 2013 @ 20:12:19

    I luv u and think i need to work on these points as a mother!


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