Many of us are people pleasers. We still have that little child in us that just wants to please everyone and be told we are doing a good job. This is a good thing in some aspects of our lives but in others it can hurt us. Like our careers, for example. As managers, especially new managers, we want our employees to like us but sometimes we are so worried about that that we don’t do our jobs well. There was a great and very smart episode of 30 Rock during the 1st Season when Liz Lemon realizes her employees think she is not very nice. To win back their favor she starts letting them do anything they want like not finish their work, leave early to go see Mamma Mia!, come in late, etc., This ends up blowing in her face when she is left to do the work of a 15-person writing staff and it results in this great exhausted speech which uses some dialogue from Designing Women. But the point is being a pushover as a manager can be detrimental to your job and your employees’ jobs.
“The big issue [especially] for new managers is that they don’t understand the difference between ‘business personal’ relationships and pure personal relationships,” says management psychologist Karissa Thacker. These two relationship may look similar on the surface, but there are important distinctions, she adds. “Imagine a golf outing…You are the boss and one of the team members is getting a divorce. An appropriate business personal conversation would include saying, ‘I am sorry and I know that is a tough transition.’ A purely personal interaction might get into a cheating spouse and the nitty-gritty details, like a reality show.”
We talked with experts about 10 warning signs you are a pushover as a manager so you can start working on it.