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Monday, 02 April 2007 12:35

SeaGull Management - How your PMO can be affected

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Ever have a Manager in your PMO who wants to give you the authority and autonomy to do your job, but can't resist checking in on you and commenting on what could be better or done differently?

Management guru Ken Blanchard popularized the term 'seagull management' in his bestseller, The One Minute Manager. Seagull managers are not exactly known for contributing positively to an operation. One popular definition is 'The seagull manager flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything then flies off again leaving a big mess behind'. And guess who gets to clean up? According to Scott Clark author if 'the Miracle of Morale-Building' notes, "When operating in (seagull) mode, leaders focus on finding people to criticise but never balance their efforts with finding an equal number of employees to praise.

Managers can Counteract this tendency by spending time trying to catch employees in the act of doing something right, and praise them accordingly. This will improve morale for all your workers. If you focus only on being a seagull manager, your employees will cringe at the sight of you, will do only the minimum effort to get by and will tell all their friends to avoid your business."

As a leader, whether Project Manager or otherwise, be aware of these quick facts

  1. It takes time to calm everyone down after Seagull Manager visits
  2. Seagull Managers have a Negative impact on morale (I've even had staff members quit as a result).
  3. According to Blanchard, "the most frequent response people get to their performance is no response at all. Then a mistake or screw-up happens, and the manager swoops in with a vengeance." While you can never avoid responding to these situations, you can counteract them with positive reinforcement on a regular basis.
  4. Also, if you have a reputation as a seagull manager, according to Blanchard, "you can't just say, 'you know, I just realised I've been a seagull manager. I'd like to create an environment where we can catch people doing things right and accent the positive'. If you suddenly start praising people, they'll think 'I wonder what he wants'."
  5. Smart managers request truly risk-free 360-degree feedback from their employees, and then act on their recommendations and suggestions.

Have comments? Work for a Seagull Manager? I'd like to hear about your experiences.


Read 7064 times Last modified on Sunday, 13 December 2009 15:14

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