Is your Manager Confident or Cowardly?

It’s been bandied around professional publications for some time now that many organisations are scrapping the appraisal scheme.

Whilst this may be great news for some, it still presents many questions.  What are they going to be replaced with?  How will learning needs be agreed and identified?  If pay is linked with performance, how will this be decided?  But of equal importance, how will people know how their performance is perceived by others?

Handling Feedback

At the heart of every effective appraisal (or whatever it’s replaced with!) is, of course, how feedback is delivered and handled. Is it handled with confidence or do those conducting the appraisal shy away from having honest conversations?

Good managers will happily go on courses, take feedback and implement their new learnings with great gusto, whereas others have to be dragged along, resisting training and leave, never to implement anything they’ve learned.

So, if it’s not lack of skills or training, then what is it that stops managers from having these conversations and managing people more effectively?

Food for Thought

I am reminded of Richard Barton, HR director, Sogeti UK comments in People Management a while back, whereby he suggests that managers swing between an abundance of confidence, or conversely worry about getting it wrong, being ignored or are just scared of an employee’s reaction.

He then suggested, somewhat less kindly, that some managers are just cowards.  Blocking employee succession, trashing the work of teams and colleagues via emails or talking about individuals behind their back.  Barton goes on to imply that cowardly managers want power without responsibility.  Thought provoking statements indeed!  Is this true?  Have you experienced this yourself?

Tools and Frameworks

At Jungle HR we recognise that to be an effective people manager you need to have many skills and attributes and an array of tools in managerial/leadership toolkit.  Some take to management like a duck to water, whereas others, if they were honest, would prefer to progress their career through a more technical path.

Managers need to understand the impact of their own leadership style and recognise how this aligns, or differs, with team members.  Using tools such as Insights Discovery, a powerful profiling tool with a simple colour system, gives managers a framework with which understand themselves in the first instance and recognise how they might need to flex their style to meet the needs of others.

Asking the Right Questions

The giving and receiving of feedback is a two-way process.  The employee clearly needs to ask for feedback and the manager or co-worker must be prepared to provide this.

In our experience, most employees know when they’ve done a great job.  Equally, employees know when they could have performed better.  Asking the right questions in the right way, which aligns your preferences and blends those with the needs of the staff member, can have a really rich outcome.

So rather than thinking about feedback as either confidant or cowardly, we would like to think that feedback should be colourful, as defined by the personality styles in the Insights Discovery System. Fiery Red – positive and affirmative, Sunshine Yellow – expressive and demonstrative, Cool Blue – objective and analytical or Earth Green – patient and caring.

To find out how we can enhance your personal and team effectiveness with the Insights Discovery System contact a member of our Jungle team:

Tel: 01952 301302 or Email: