Comparing Good and Bad Managers

November 21, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
1. expound (v.) [ik-spound] – to clarify or explain in detail
    Example: The doctor expounded on the results of his blood test.

2. sparingly (adv.) [spair-ing-lee] – in a limited manner
    Example: The supplies are limited so please use it sparingly.
3. reinforce (v.) [ree-in-fawrs, -fohrs] – to strengthen with some added support
    Example: The coach’s encouraging words reinforced the team’s energy.

4. ladle (v.) [leyd-l] – to impart or make known
    Example: He was ladled with praises from his co-workers for a job well-done.

5. exaggerate (v.) [ig-zaj-uh-reyt] – to make greater or more noticeable
    Example: The clothes do not suit him because they exaggerate his narrow shoulders.

Read the text below.

Sometimes workplace problems arise not because of poorly performing employees, but because of managers who need attitude transformation. Former Fortune 500 Human Resources executive Liz Ryan further expounds on this by comparing the attitudes of good and bad managers.

At the workplace, emergencies sometimes require managers to put ongoing tasks on hold. Good managers do this sparingly, and only in times of crises. However, bad managers do it every day and forget other equally immediate tasks they had previously asked their employees to do.

As business processes and organizations become more complicated, employees need new knowledge to solve problems that may come. Good managers step in to help lead the employee to the right answers. Bad managers only demand solutions and hear only what they like.

Good managers see how disagreements between employees affect work efficiency, while bad managers see them merely as personal issues which need not be resolved.

In terms of giving feedback, good managers reinforce positive things. In contrast, bad managers rarely praise, but ladle on criticisms and exaggerate them by saying that other people share his opinion.

Lastly, bad managers emphasize that employees are lucky to have jobs at all. With the unemployment rate somewhere above 9% in the US, saying that someone unbelievably managed to stay employed can be insulting. This behavior shows that bad managers live in fear and do not see the potential in themselves or others.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
Discussion A

·         What do you think makes a good manager? A bad manager?
·         Do you think it is possible to be friends with one's superiors at the workplace? Explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         Should an employee resign if he/she considers his/her manager a bad manager? Explain your answer.
·         Why do you think some managers do not treat their employees well?

November 21, 2011