Improving C-Style Managers’ Effectiveness

Assumptions That Can Get Them in Trouble

Even if we’d never say them out loud, we all have unconscious assumptions that sometimes get us into trouble. Here are some common ones that C-style managers sometimes make.

• If I make a mistake, I’ll lose my credibility

• If people haven’t gotten negative feedback, they will assume they’re doing a good job

• We need all of the information before we make a big decision

• It’s undignified to show intense or tender emotions at work

• Time spent relationship building is largely frivolous

• My judgement is completely objective and unbiased because I use logic

Emotions have no place in decision making

• There’s one best way of doing things

• If my feedback is objective and fair, I don’t need to cater to people’s feelings

• I need to consider all of the variables before I decide

• You should keep emotions to yourself

• If I make a bad decision for the group, it will never be forgotten

• I’ve thought this through and there’s no better way to see it


Unintended Consequences for Their Team

• We get bogged down in over-analysis

• There’s a lack of shared excitement for our work

• We don’t feel like our hard work is appreciated

• We miss opportunities because we’re too cautious

• Our processes are too rigid

• We don’t feel connected to our teammates


Helping Your C-style Managers Rethink Their Role

These managers often need help appreciating that to grow as a leader, they’ll need to embrace the humanity of their direct reports on a deeper level. By understanding other perspectives, they see that the people they manage often need praise, excitement, optimism, camaraderie, or risk-taking at a much greater level than they do.

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