Communication and Social Skills are for Wimps!
Modern media is glutted with articles about how supervisors and managers can earn the respectful affection of their workers as a means to boost efficiency and productivity. Since I’m addressing a very tiny niche here, I want to talk to those of you who are convinced that people work better when they hate the boss. I know you’re out there! I’ve seen your work! (The rest of you can listen in and learn what you can.) These are things I’ve observed from the best (or, the worst, as the case may be). Every example I include is real, and they are all effective strategies to make your people hate you!
How to use Poor Communication and Social Skills in your strategy to help your workers hate you
Read My Mind
Constantly give your people vague instructions. Be visibly irritated when they ask questions to clarify what you want from them. (A pained expression or a sigh will do.) Then get angry when the result is not what you wanted. These double bind, damned-if-you-do /damned-if-you-don’t tactics are a potent potion. One drink and they’ll be hooked on hating you!
Almost the Right Word
Mark Twain once said, “The difference between the right word, and almost the right word is like the difference between “lightning” and “lightning bug.” Never use words that hit the bull’s-eye on what you really mean. Make them guess. Say, “in the file” instead of “third drawer from the top.” Say, “get ahold of Jack” instead of “email Jack.” Say, “Let’s pull the trigger on that project,” instead of, “I want Bill to start writing the proposal tomorrow morning.” Liberal and incorrect use of tired clichés, colloquialisms and metaphors are perfect tactics to make them scratch their heads and diminish respect for your intelligence.
Ignore the Elephant in the Room
When you offend or anger an employee, try to deflect it by cheerily pretending to be interested in their plans for the weekend instead of addressing the issue. The response is likely to be minimal at most, so as your employee does a slow burn, prattle on obliviously about how much you are looking forward to trying out your new titanium golf clubs.
Never Say “Thanks”
Expressing frequent and sincere appreciation to your people covers a multitude of sins. So if you are among those who want your workers to hate you, avoid doing this.
But even better….
Always act unimpressed with an employee’s work (despite how good it is, or how you actually feel about it) in order to maintain his or her motivation. After all, it’s in human nature to just rest on our laurels. Praising employees’ work will just make them think “mission accomplished” and they’ll relax their efforts to please you…right?
When You Must Praise
When praise simply cannot be avoided, never fear. There’s a way to praise your employees and still encourage them to feel disgust toward you. In order to make your praise seem a little creepy, be sure to praise the person, not their work, and keep it vague. Use effusive superlatives that make you sound manipulative and insincere. For example, don’t say, “Your new approach to this problem saves us an hour a day. I appreciate that!” This will only generate respect and affection. Instead say, “Wow! You’re the smartest person in the world!”
Almost every good management practice can be rendered moot by poor management communication and people skills. When you have good systems in place, but still want your employees to hate you, the tips in this article will be indispensable.
This is the 5th post in my tongue-in-cheek series entitled “Surefire Strategies to Ensure Your Employees will Hate You.”
You can read the previous posts right here:
Watch for next installment in this series: “Workplace Head Games.”
Click here for a complete catalog of my blog posts with a brief description of their content.