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Taming the Abrasive Manager: Words from the Boss Whisperer

| March 18, 2008

by Jim Bruce

Have you ever had a manager who was abrasive on your staff?  You know, the person who causes you headaches, who have aggressive management styles that create interpersonal friction, reduce motivation and trust to rubble, and disrupt work well beyond the group they lead.  In “Taming the Abrasive Manager:  Words from the Boss Whisperer”, Laura Crawshaw, president of the Executive Insight Development Group, has some good words of advice.

She begins by urging that to tame the abusive manager who have to know who you are dealing with:  

1.  Someone who has a deep need to be perceived as extremely competent and who will vigorously defend against anything that will threatens that perception.

2.  Someone who does not see that they are abrasive.

3.  Someone who lacks the ability to read other’s emotional reactions to their abrasive behavior.

And, then Crawshaw suggests a three step intervention process:

1.  Help them see what they do.

2.  Help them care enough to change.

3.  Offer the abrasive manager help and hold them accountable for their behavior.

As leaders we are responsible for the environment in our workplaces and need to stop just talking about the abusive manager and actively doing something about it.


Have a great week.  .  .  .     jim