I called my mother tonight for a catch-up conversation and we got to talking about work and the conference that I had just attended.  She asked how my recent lectures went on personal motivation and motivation in the workplace and I told her that they went well.  I also mention to her something I heard that I thought was pretty amazing.

Right before one of my lectures I was talking with some attendees who also managed medical practices and one of them said “that she felt it was a compliment if she heard her employees refer to her as a “b—h”(word for female dog) at work.” I was floored, I am sure my mouth dropped open.  Then another person said that she often referred to her manager as a “b—h” and that her manager felt that if she was called that by her staff that meant that she was really doing her job well. I was standing there in wonderment trying to figure out how anyone could feel being called such a degrading name could be interpreted as a compliment.

My mother spoke up a this time and told me that when she was working back in the late 70’s and early 80’s for a large Healthcare Company that the management staff ruled their subordinates with fear and felt that they were a bit higher up and better than those who worked under them.  She also told me that she tried to “stay on their good side” so she could make sure she kept her job.

Yes, I do know that this was once a management style, but to think that people still used it (and these were people who were in their 30’s) and felt that this style was good just simply threw me for a loop.  Today, with all of the management guru books and videos out there that teach about good, healthy work environments, and creating an inspiring work culture, how could this management style survive?

Leading by fear will never grow a work team to be close with its leaders.  Fear drives people to do their job because they are afraid if they do not they will lose their job.  But ask these same people if they like their job and those they work for and they will tell you that they do not (what kind of work life is that?).

I tried to suggest to these managers that there is a different way to lead their people who will produce better results in personal performance, better team atmosphere, and a more inspiring work culture, but surprisingly they were sold on their management style.  I was really saddened by this not only for what they are missing by not having the joy of encouraging their staff in a positive way, but also for the staff that they lead, they are in an environment that causes them to call the management degrading names.

What do you think about this?  Have you ever run into managers who still believe that this management style is one to use in this day and age?

The article link below gives some great ideas on how to create a motivating work environment, take a few minutes to check it out to make sure you are on the right track to making your workplace the healthiest, happiest place it can be.  Also visit our website for your free e-booklet download “Motivation in the Workplace”  www.gotoppm.com

“Leaders establish the vision for the future and set the strategy for getting there; they cause change.  They motivate and inspire others to go in the right direction and they, along with everyone else, sacrifice to get there.” ~John Kotter