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Home » Leadership

How to banish those middle-management blues

Submitted by on Monday, 20 June 2011No Comment

management training ThailandMiddle management has long been known to be the key to execution in larger organisations – and in Thailand this is no different. But this recent study has shown how critical the middle management function is to the success of your organisation.

But was can senior managers do to facilitate greater effectiveness among their often confused, demotivated and stressed-out subordinates?

This article looks at some of the steps and initiatives senior managers wishing to banish those middle-management blues in Thailand can take:

One. Create an atmosphere of trust & respect

Middle management can be a thankless task, with the hapless individual battered with pressures from all sides.

This is why it’s essential to create an atmosphere of trust and respect. Creating the feeling of ‘we’re in this together’ and communication where we share our vulnerabilities is key to achieving such a productive atmosphere.

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Consider enrolling in Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team to learn how to create a dynamic atmosphere of respect, vulnerability and trust.

Two. Define the job

One of the depressing aspects of middle management in the ‘never-endingness’ in the nature of work. Managers have likened this to being like a gerbil on a treadmill or like rolling a rock up a hill, only for it to roll down again (like the Myth of Sisyphus).

For this it’s really important that senior managers scope the work clearly and, where possible, give milestones for closure. This can lead to greater job satisfaction as managers can feel they are making progress, rather than doing tasks repetitively.

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Enrol in It’s Okay to be the Boss to learn how to delegate effectively and communicate and clarify job expectations.

Three. Define the role

If tasks are easy to define, roles are less so. A role is a broader collection of tasks or relations that require constant initiative from the middle-manager.

Defining the role clearly can remove a lot of the stress that comes with a lack of role clarity.

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Knowing how to Enable Others to Act is one of the five key practices of leaders as defined by the global, multi-decade research in The Leadership Challenge. To find out more about this training programme feel free to email us via our contact form.

Four. What’s in it for me?

The study shows that ‘extrinsic’ benefits such as pay and perks are increasingly of lesser value to the pressured middle-manager.

Of greater importance and value includes a career path (‘Am I going to be doing this forever?’) as well as professional recognition.

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Provide training and professional development opportunities.  Use this programme to create career paths and this programme to foster greater commitment.

Five. Challenge the Process!

Lastly, few things are more frustrating to the stressed-out middle manager than when he or she spots an improvement to the system but when this is raised is told ‘that’s the way it is done round here’.

Enabling ‘push back’ from your middle managers is key to improving your system – it’s what helped GE leap forward in its productivity from the 90s on – and is a vital ‘engager’ if you do not want your managers feel like they are goldfish in a bowl staring at faulty processes!

» Do this

The Leadership Challenge trains your managers how to ‘push back’ safely and effectively by following the third key practise of the leader – Challenging the Process.

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Talent Technologies :: Producing Change


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