By: Marlene Cosain
There is a fine line between having a positive relationship with your employees and getting too comfortable. In your relationship with your employees, there should always remain that sense of authority in which you cultivate an encouraging work environment. Your staff should always feel welcome to approach you, ask questions, make mistakes, etc. which sets an environment in which they can problem solve.
Theoretically, it is easier to be a people pleaser, but when you are working longer shifts, more stressed and have more work because you are taking on others’ work, you have to draw the line. This line is a bit more difficult to draw when you are a new manager or just new in general. Putting your foot down can leave you worried that your duties shape your character, which is not entirely true most of the time. It is normal, we want people, employees, etc. to like us, but that feeling of acceptance needs to be put aside when it affects the company’s productivity. These are signs that you are the pushover:
People disobey the rules, constantly
They break the dress code. They come in late or sometimes do not even show up! When rules aren’t implemented, followed or held to standard, it makes way for employees to not care about the rules. They give you a quick story on what you want to hear. You feel empathetic, and you move on, then the issue arises again. Let everyone know that there are rules with consequences attached. Nacie Carson, a Career Expert noted to Thegrindstone.com, “The answer for pushover managers isn’t to shift into the opposite direction and put their staff into lockdown…the answer is to provide clear standards and directives, and then be consistent in holding people accountable to those directives.”
You are at work after everyone has left
Right before close you have people asking for favors left and right. You may find it difficult to decline, so you are stuck later than expected at work. When you realize that everyone left at 5 pm and you are the last to leave at 8 pm it is because you were working on what is someone else’s responsibility. As an effective manager or owner, it is important that your staff is accountable for their responsibility and problem-solving.
Ways to stop:
Make a To-Don’t list
This is a great idea encouraged by Themuse.com. Make a list of your priorities each day and stick to that list. Whatever is not on the list then most likely does not need your attention, or someone else can take care of it. Let your staff work together to do their job and not make yours any heavier.
This is probably the hardest thing to do, hence the reason why we are labeled pushovers. Themuse.com states, “This is the hardest part, because saying no to others’ demands can feel uncomfortable and unfamiliar at first. But it’s also the most important. Next time you’re asked to take on a project that falls outside the boundaries you’ve identified, you need to say no and stick to it. Not the next time it happens, not most of the time, but right now. If it’s something you’re struggling to say no to—say, a request from your manager—ask questions and look for ways to compromise.”
Practice makes perfect. Compromise, delegation and teamwork are all essential.