The Managing of Middle Management

October 4, 2009 | By | Add a Comment

It’s funny how differences of opinion can happen.

This week, I came across two sides of an opinion and was able to observe the response to both.

A middle manager leaves.

His team are relieved, because he wasn’t much liked for his seemingly lazy behavior, poor communication skills and inability to manage with just a little discipline at least.

His own manager is very disappointed to lose ‘a great manager’.

Who is right?

For members of a team, their needs are about getting information, being listened to, having development support and someone who is effective as a manager. If they get someone who they get on well with and even like, that’s a bonus.

For a line manager, they need a middle manager who delivers results, they aren’t too usually interested in how these are achieved.

Is there a way to satisfy both sides of this?

Great middle managers do the right things in the eyes of their team – being demanding is perfectly alright, as long as it is fair and consistently applied throughout the team.

Results are achieved purely because these behaviors are precisely what’s needed to get good results.

The managers of middle managers sometimes don’t get close enough to the ‘results’ they want, until it’s too late.

By being distant from the action, they fail to notice when results aren’t being achieved. Worse, they think they see them being delivered, until it’s too late – and then sustainable results are often out of the window – gone.

Worse still is when key individuals feel that their direct manager is not performing adequately and their more senior manager seems to miss all that.

Then they really do get demoralized.

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Filed in: Employee Development, Leadership and Management | Tags: , , , ,

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