Found a great article from Liz Ryan posted on Jun 20, 2016 that I wanted to re-post here:
Ten Ways A Weak Manager Will Try to Intimidate You
Years ago, it didn’t take much to be qualified for a management job. You only had to understand the processes and procedures at your job, and be reasonably reliable to be hired into a management job. Back then we didn’t see that the best-qualified person for a management job is not necessarily the person who is the most experienced or most skilled at the work a department performs.
In order to be a strong manager, you have to be able to listen and to communicate well. You have to have empathy. Now we are realizing that many of the people who hold management jobs are not qualified to be in management. They lead through fear rather than trust. They keep their employees in line by subtly or overtly threatening them.
If you’re worried about keeping your job, you won’t cross your manager, it’s true — but you also won’t care about your team goals and you won’t be excited about your work. Every organization large and small that manages through fear gets a sub-optimal result, but nonetheless there are many weak managers leading teams today.
They lead through intimidation. They aren’t interested in hearing a team member’s opinion, because that opinion might threaten them. They believe that because they are the manager, their word is law. They don’t want their employees to question them, make suggestions or share opinions that don’t match their own.
They don’t want their employees to be viewed as subject-matter experts throughout the company. That would be terrifying to a weak manager!
Here are 10 ways weak managers will try to intimidate you into backing down from your positions and devolving into a doormat.
1. A weak manager will tell you that your education and training is sub-par.
2. A weak manager will remind you that no matter how reasonable your ideas are, they are not in line with the company’s direction and therefore should be squelched.
3. A weak manager will warn you that if you share your opinions with other people in the company, you’ll embarrass yourself.
4. A weak manager will tell you that you must funnel all communication through them, rather than directly to your intended recipient.
5. They’ll tell you not to speak at cross-departmental meetings, but to let them represent your department and its views.
6. A weak manager will rewrite your report or presentation and put their own name on it.
7. A weak manager will assign someone to train you on a subject you could teach, yourself.
8. They will swoop in and second-guess your work, making tiny corrections to everything you do so you’ll remember who’s the boss and who isn’t.
9. A weak manager will tell you that other managers have said negative things about you, to keep you off-balance.
10. Lastly, a weak manager will criticize you at every opportunity and never, ever praise your work – but when you succeed, they’ll praise themselves for hiring you!
It can take time and reflection to see that you’re under the thumb of a weak manager who will never allow you to shine. Until you get that message, you will believe that you’ve made mistakes, that you’ve botched important projects or that you might not be up to your job assignment.
That’s how your weak manager keeps you under his or her control — by keeping you from getting the affirmation that would tell you that your company is glad to have you on board!
Your weak manager may be afraid that you will outstrip his or her accomplishments, or he or she may not want to share the limelight with you. When you run into a situation where your manager is trying to control you, ask yourself these questions:
• What did I come to this job to learn or to accumulate? Maybe it was international experience, or a chance to run a project or outside sales experience. Whatever it was you came to get, have you gotten it yet?
• If not, stay the course but make a plan B to follow in case your manager simply can’t tolerate the heat of your growing flame and decides to terminate you.
• If you’ve already grabbed the brass ring at your current job, why stick around? The world is big, and there’s much more to learn and experience in it than we can imagine. There’s no time to waste — better start exploring now!
The more your flame grows, the fewer managers you’ll meet who will give you the intimidation treatment I’m describing here.
It’s not that you won’t meet fearful managers after that point. You’ll meet them, but they won’t hire you to work for them when they see that you are confident and capable. The only managers who will hire you then will be managers who are confident and capable themselves.
The farther you travel along your path, the more of those people you will meet, and the fewer barking dogs (in the form of insecure managers) you will encounter!