Your Manager May Not Be Smart Enough For the Job

April 25, 2013

In years gone by, it was assumed that if someone rose through the ranks to the position of manager, he was smart. Although that was many decades ago, and things have changed greatly, there is still a substantial division between labor and management.

For a very short while I worked for a company that, although large, hired only women to work for them. My manager was a bully. He didn’t bully women physically, but he did bully them emotionally.

A good manager knows that people have different learning styles and respond to criticism in different ways. There is no such thing as one standard way of dealing with anything.

I’m one of those people who responds to kindness a million times better than I respond to nastiness. My manager didn’t know that and didn’t care so he chose to handle a situation with his one-size-fits-all managerial style.

It was my first job when I moved to my new area and I didn’t have much experience with the marketplace. I was supposed to find jobs for applicants and I knew nothing about negotiating salaries and benefits packages. I also didn’t realize that this was part of my job requirements because I wasn’t told at the time I was hired.

Within the first week or two, a young girl came in and asked me to find her a job in the restaurant business. She had been the manager of a nice restaurant and wanted to work in that field. I spoke to the owner of the franchise and got her an interview.

When she came back to our office, my manager made an example of me. In a loud, carrying voice, he embarrassed the hell out of me by making everyone in the office look at the idiot who sent this qualified woman to work in a fast food restaurant for very low wages.

He was astonished when I told him that his tactics were not those of a good manager and his response was that I was the only employee who thought so. I knew that everyone else was afraid to do so.

If this manager had been raised in my home, he would have constantly heard that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. And that applies to people in general, not limited to employees.

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