Terri Levine

Some managers are dictators and look over their employees' shoulders every step of the way. Of course, such managers think they can do the work better, and that their way is the only right way to do it. They refuse to listen to other ideas and suggestions. Solution: If this is you, delegate the task, then step back and allow the employee to do it. It doesn't matter how it's done, just as long as it gets done on time and with the preferred result. You do need to be available and ready if the employee needs guidance or assistance. Hold regular meetings

Bad managers don't trust employees. They may show no respect, and may seem to thrive in their perceived power roles. They can be rude to employees, showing disregard for their feelings, and the only feedback given is negative. They're intimidating and arrogant. They've never heard of work/life balance. They give too many difficult tasks to people either not suited to or not trained for it. And they set unrealistic deadlines. Solution: Even bad managers can be trained out of their bad habits. It's up to senior managers to train their middle managers accordingly. Hold management meetings to address these issues — with no

Some managers have no idea what they're doing. They may have transferred from a different department or industry and be out of their depth in their new roles. Whenever employees ask for advice, such managers may dismiss them with excuses or tell them to sort it out themselves, which is not quite the empowerment they're looking for. Solution: If this describes you, make it a point to get familiar with all the roles in your department and be able to step in to help any employee at any time. If saving face is important, you always can approach this learning phase by

Managers can be highly critical, quick to spot flaws and point them out, and they seem to focus on what's not working. This can make staffers feel worthless, as if nothing they do is right, that they can never please their bosses. And hence, staffers' morale suffers, as does their productivity. Solution: Focus on what's working and build from there. As for what's not working, assume that only employees hold the answers. Brainstorming with all involved in a task or project shows respect to employees who very often have a better grip on the situation than you, the manager, do. Moreover, staffers can

Managers often dump unrealistic workloads on their employees and hand over tasks that people aren't equipped to handle. They give over the work without empowering employees to handle it, and then they blame employees when it doesn't work out. Solution: Learn to delegate properly. The reason for delegating work is to lighten the manager's workload and also to educate/train those under him/her to help them grow. Work delegated always should be appropriate to the ability of the employee to whom it's given. If the manager has authority to do X with a project, if that project is delegated, the person receiving it must

Managers sometimes aren't clear with instructions. People are doing work for which they have no idea of its importance or relevance and even how it fits into the larger picture. As a result, tasks are tackled blindly with hit-and-miss results, delays and extra stress. Solution: Ensure employees understand not only what they're doing but WHY they're doing it. This enables workers to also find better and more efficient ways to achieve goals. Work with your people to help them to set realistic goals, and then measure their progress fairly. —Terri Levine, CEO of Comprehensive Coaching U, and author of the new

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