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How do you deal with an inexperienced manager

(11 Posts)
UnhappyAtWork Wed 13-Apr-16 21:39:12

So we have a new manager at work, and they have literally NO managerial experience. They are now micromanaging one of the team, and not the other team.

They are not making us feel valued or motivated - we get things like "go and get some training" - no specifics, just 'some training', or you are asked to change something, so to add it to the how to guide you need a specific way to do it, and you are told its in the X - so you then have to ask which X, the X , and where is the X l.. and it goes on

gar - any advice except keep smiling and wait it out?

lougle Wed 13-Apr-16 21:47:58

Why don't you try to help the manager. If they want something done and you don't know how to do it, find out from someone who does.

EBearhug Thu 14-Apr-16 14:23:59

You must have ideas about training for whatever you do - if you work in an office, it's more likely to be Microsoft or time management or communication skills or something than crop spraying or health and safety in a nuclear workplace.

Look at the things you're struggling withand find some courses - we have a directory of online courses, but if your employer doesn't have something like that, check what they do offer, and also Google. There are definitely courses on dealing with difficult people.

If you find free courses, just do them. If they're paid, write a plan and justification and request the funding.

You could be proactive and develop a training plan - everyone in the department needs to do these, functions which include X need to do Y and so on.

It might also be worth checking with HR - do they have any course suggestions to support new managers? You can also get courses on how to lead teams and develop people. (With us, anyone who has people reporting to them gets a compulsory goal about developing and coaching their staff.)

It's not just about training - even if people get training, with some it goes in one ear/eye and out the other, plus training you won't use is generally a waste of time anyway.

You also need to give him feedback. Say things like, "I need guidance on what training we need." But also point out that micromanagement is rarely the most effective way of achieving things - do some research (there are plenty of articles online about micromanagement and the effects on productivity and morale) and get facts and figures to back your self up, particularly if he's the sort of person who likes metrics. Be clear - "You need to respond to the mail about X by 16:00, because..."

If he's really useless, then you need to get your CV up to date, but it could be he needs support and mentoring.

UnhappyAtWork Thu 14-Apr-16 21:21:04

To answer the first post (thanks for replying btw)

I don't really feel its my place to train someone who is being paid around £20k more than I am? The training was an example (its so hard to think of something that wont't out me) It was more about the way we are told to get some training but not what would be good for us than the actual training. There is no development, no motivation

Lifeisgreaterthandeath Thu 14-Apr-16 21:29:19

Sorry to hear about this. It never fails to amaze me how so many managers are appointed who have no management out leadership skills. I've worked for some absolute incompetents. We wouldn't appointment an electrician who couldn't do electrical work but it's normal in England to appoint managers who can't manage, direct plan or manage people. A good manager should be aware of their teams skills and where they need to develop, bad managers treat everyone as untrustworthy, hold onto information instead of sharing it and refuse to communicate plans. The problem is that bad managers can't understand they are bad (dunning-kruger effect) and so don't improve, perversely good managers are always developing.

Perhaps you could try asking her specifically (like you are a bit thick) what she thinks you need, and what she means and what the budget s are.

Really feel bad that this is happening and its very depressing to hearflowers

slightlyglitterbrained Thu 14-Apr-16 22:20:15

It may be that you'll see an improvement as your manager gets his/her feet under her & hopefully some training. I have seen a micromanager change their approach once they had actually had some management training and a) realised that not being familiar with every tiny detail wasn't actually a failure to do their job well, but a sign they were letting people get on with it and b) had some other techniques/ideas to use.

The first few months for any new manager are pretty tough and many mistakes will be made. Making that change between being an individual contributor and managing others involves completely changing how you approach things - many don't make it. Don't assume how they're behaving now will last forever - it depends how well they take to it, and how well they are supported & trained by their manager & peers. (Sadly decent management training is not common in the UK).

EBearhug Thu 14-Apr-16 22:59:35

it's normal in England to appoint managers who can't manage, direct plan or manage people. A good manager should be aware of their teams skills and where they need to develop, bad managers treat everyone as untrustworthy, hold onto information instead of sharing it and refuse to communicate plans.

Not just England - my problem manager who fits this description to a tee is in Germany.

tribpot Thu 14-Apr-16 23:08:08

Could you approach the manager's boss and ask him/her to support the manager during the transition phase? What you've described sounds like someone who's being kicked from above and is just passing the kicking down the chain.

I would also offer the manager some constructive feedback - ask how you can help him/her move into the new role and suggest maybe scheduling regular one-to-ones with the direct reports so questions can be asked all in one go rather than piecemeal over the day?

I rather suspect the manager is going to react badly to any kind of feedback as he/she sounds very insecure in the role but I think it's worth a try.

elephantoverthehill Thu 14-Apr-16 23:14:03

There was a very good R4 programme on about this yesterday at about 3.30. Sorry I was driving so only caught the middle bit.

daisychain01 Fri 15-Apr-16 04:23:47

Do you have regular performance development meetings with the manager?

I would note down the points you think are important including context and talk very specifically about the needs of the job and how you can fill any knowledge or competency gaps with training. The fact is that nowadays we are increasingly expected to be self starters in organisations rather than being "managed".

Maybe use it as an opportunity to shape your direction, to do things that are interesting and stimulating using training as the way of topping up your skills, especially if several of you can be trained together.

daisychain01 Fri 15-Apr-16 04:25:12

"Manage your manager" is a term often used nowadays.

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