Friday, 12 June 2015

Tell me one simple thing I can do to be a better manager?

The above question was recently asked of me by a relatively senior sales manager in an IT services organisation. My reply seemed to shock him. In retrospect I think he must have been expecting something with regard to management style, ways to motivate or even some new insight into increasing his team's close rate.

He certainly was not expecting what I said which was "Never ever be sarcastic with people who report to you".

The dictionary definition of sarcasm is 1) harsh or bitter derision or irony 2) a sharply ironical taunt; sneering or cutting remark. Now that you see that definition in black and white I hope it instantly becomes clear why sarcasm is such a bad thing to ever use with anyone that you manage.

Other than simply not being a nice thing to do, at least when used outside of business the person on the receiving end has an opportunity and even a right to reply - not when such sarcasm is coming from the boss, so it becomes a form of bullying and hugely demoralising and disorientating for team members.

Think about how you feel when someone higher up the food-chain is sarcastic to you and use this as motivation not to do it yourself - be better than them!