The demanding manager approaches employee leadership with a “do-it-because-I-said-so” mindset. If your parents were anything like mine, seeing that phrase just sent you on a flashback to your childhood. As a kid, hearing “because I said so” uttered in any conversation meant I had just successfully asked enough “but why do I have to” questions to get my mother to her breaking point. However, my mother using “because I said so” is nothing more than a parenting tactic to keep her sanity, but a manager deploying “because I said so” as a leadership style, is anything but a strategic move.
For example, it's typical for a demanding sales leader to walk into a staff meeting and say, “C’mon everybody we need to get our numbers up. We need to start closing more sales!” At this point every sales person is thinking “well duh!” It’s as if the manager assumes his or her sales people are missing all of these really great opportunities because it never occurred to them that closing sales is a great way to get numbers up (insert eye-roll)! This is the demanding manager, expecting performance to improve simply because he or she said so.
Or the Customer service Manager Who states, “We need to get our customer satisfaction numbers up”. These are not bad messages except for the fact they are often the only messages.
We call this Rhetorical Management Directives. You know, the management mandates that are so obvious, but irritating because the manager is actually convinced by simply saying it success will come. Success and performance improvement takes time and practice. Employees will typically not push themselves on their own; therefore, we as managers and leaders have to coach them to levels they would not otherwise reach for.
The fact of the matter is demanding performance, no matter how it’s done, will never produce significant results. When an employee has hit a roadblock, telling him or her to sell as a way to get sales is useless. What employees need is a means to an end, and coaching does just that. When an employee cannot move past a barrier, they need a coach to help them explore other avenues (means) to get to their sales goal (end).
A Few Suggestions:
- Stop demanding and start inspiring, motivating, and developing employees through COACHING.
- Ask Questions… Gain greater clarification, understanding, and ultimate trust from employees.
- Provide positive feedback to open their minds to areas where they have an opportunity to improve!