· 3 mins · Management Skills

10 Things managers do that drive their team nuts

Are you driving your team 🍌without even knowing it?

Avatar of Shannon Maloney Shannon Maloney

We interviewed 10 employees from different companies, teams and departments to learn what really grates their gears about management. Here’s what they had to say:

1. Using “autonomy” as a get-out-of-work-free card

“The thing that often annoys me is the abuse of the term or concept of ‘autonomy’ as a way for managers to take a little too much of a hands off approach. As someone who managed before, I know it’s sometimes just a cop out and lazy approach when you’re busy!”

2. Pretending to know it all

“When managers think they know it all, all the time. Being a manager doesn’t mean you have the answer to every question. A good leader leans on other people’s expertise and is comfortable not knowing.”

3. Blaming the team for not keeping up with projects

“At my old company, we’d have a weekly status meeting. Except, what would happen would be, we’d do it for two weeks, we’d forget to do it another week, it wouldn’t happen another week, and so on. And then it became a stressful thing because the status of each project was out of date, and it became everyone’s problem that we weren’t doing it rather than our manager just sticking to a schedule.”

4. Inability to communicate the vision

“When a manager can’t communicate their vision, but they can say things like ‘that’s not what I imagined’ or ‘that’s close but we’re still not there.’ “

5. Being unprepared

“There’s nothing that infuriates me more than a manager calling a meeting and then showing up unprepared.”

6. Not keeping team leads informed

“Bringing up ideas out of the blue to a big team (creating uncertainty) without discussing first with the lead person/people who’d be responsible for handling them. (e.g. at a previous job, my one-up manager would occasionally opine to the wider team about technology changes we “should” be doing, without discussing with the lead technical architects whether they actually made sense.)”

7. Rescheduling meetings

“When a manager knows I or the team have questions we need answered and reschedules our meeting anyways.”

8. Micromanaging

“Micromanaging, to me, is a sign that my manager just doesn’t trust me to do my job.”

9. Not giving credit where credit is due

“I had a boss that never once acknowledged individuals and how they contributed to the success of our team (which was doing very well at the time). Said boss was more than happy to take all of the glory.”

10. Delayed feedback on work

“I understand managers are busy, but what’s really frustrating is when you finish a project, ask your manager for feedback and they say ‘no problem!’ then radio silence for a week or two. The project ships and then all of the sudden, weeks later, there’s a ton of feedback and edits.”

If you’re a manager cringing at your screen, or an employee furiously nodding your head in agreement… we want to help you. Here are two things to do right now to improve communication with your manager/report:

  1. If you haven’t already, set up a bi-weekly 30 minute one-on-one meeting with your manager/employee.
  2. Add this agenda item to every 1:1 meeting (for both attendees) “What’s one piece of negative and one piece of positive feedback you have for me?”

Ask for feedback. Open the lines of communication. Be transparent. Have the cringe-worthy conversations. Simple, right? Having a tool dedicated for one-on-ones helps. Give SoapBox a try for your next one-on-one meeting (and watch how smoothly the conversation flows 🌊).

What to do next

Now that you've read this article, here are some things you should do:

  1. You should check out our YouTube channel for more tips on management skills and team building.
  2. You should try Hypercontext to see how it can help you run a high performing org.
  3. If you found this article helpful, please share it with others on Linkedin or X (Twitter)

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