Survey of Arts Management

Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014

9 Ways Leaders Insult Their Employees

This article from Forbes this week brought up many of the themes we’ve all discussed in class and read about in our weekly readings. Many of the qualities brought up in the article are ones we discussed when determining what makes a good or bad manager: appreciation, recognition and respect, communication tactics, criticism, micromanaging, etc.

I thought this was a good reminder that while a manager is a leader of a team, he or she is also a part of the team. As one of our readings pointed out, the teams that work best together and accomplish the most are the ones that can be honest and vulnerable with each other, about strengths and about weakensses. In this way good management is in large part a balancing act.

While some of the examples in the article seem a bit extreme, I’m sure we’ve all, at some point, worked at places with ineffective leadership. Do any of you identify with any of the “insulting” situations in this article? Or perhaps the opposite – what was a good management situation you’ve found yourself in?

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2 comments on “9 Ways Leaders Insult Their Employees

  1. evanjsanderson
    October 7, 2014

    I feel like you could extrapolate these 9 items to apply to any relationship with anyone (give or take a few variables). What it makes me think is that one of the key ways of being a good leader is just be a human being. Yes, you need to lead, and yes, you need to delegate, and even make hard decisions. But if you put yourself in the shoes of the other people in your team, then it makes life (and work) a lot easier.

    Some of the readings in The Advantage seem so self evident. “These people in a board room talked about their feelings and suddenly they felt better.” Well, duh! I’m from the artsy fartsy side of things, so maybe I’m missing something, but the relationship aspect of good management seems to revolve around trying to be a human with other humans most of the time.

  2. cayleycarroll
    October 8, 2014

    Reading this article was depressing because I could assign one former supervisor to each of the 9 ways to insult someone. In my experience, the rude, condescending, recognition-hungry supervisors are the most insecure and sometimes inexperienced leaders. I think when people get maxed out they tend to forgot the simplest courtesies because they are using all their energy to focus on the goal. Or the intentionally cut other people down to help them boost their own self-worth. These people do not see the big picture and are not fun to work for. #truth

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