A management tool that works – but is dangerous if overused

by on June 1, 2010 · 5 Comments POSTED IN: HR Cafe
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Use this management style to bond with your team

Great managers don’t rely on a single managerial style. They have a full repertoire of styles and deploy the one that’s most appropriate for a given situation.

One style is the “Relating Style.” Bosses use it to build rapport among employees, getting them to bond with each other by encouraging teamwork and focusing people on common goals.

They also build rapport with their own direct reports, in large part by relating to people, being sociable and likable. When bosses learn the names of their employees’ children and ask about them periodically, they’re using the Relating Style.

But – when managing people there’s always a “but” – the Relating Style has a downside. Managers who over-rely on this style are reluctant to make tough decisions. They don’t take charge in a crisis. And they don’t push people hard enough to perform. They seem to think management is some sort of popularity contest.

The key, of course, is knowing when to use the Relating Style and when not to. When used appropriately, it’s a powerful tool in your management toolkit.

photo credit: _sarchi

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5 Comments on This Post

  1. RJT-NY
    June 2, 2010 - 5:17 pm

    Excellent point. It’s OK to be friendly with your employees, but becoming friends with them can cloud management decisions.

  2. RJT-NY
    June 2, 2010 - 1:17 pm

    Excellent point. It's OK to be friendly with your employees, but becoming friends with them can cloud management decisions.

  3. RJT-NY
    June 2, 2010 - 1:17 pm

    Excellent point. It's OK to be friendly with your employees, but becoming friends with them can cloud management decisions.

  4. DH in CA
    September 14, 2012 - 5:55 pm

    What do you do when a manager/supervisor was promoted from a staff position and doesn’t think that having this style all the time is an issue? I have seen the reluctance to make the hard decisions already but I am unable to convince this person that a little distance is a good thing. The “friends” approach has led to a division of who is a “friend” and who is not.

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