Caring Parent - Ego and Management Style I

The Parent-Ego shows most in your management style. When you are in a position of authority you tend to fall back on default behaviour based on that

of your own authority figures in childhood and on subsequent managers and training you might have had. As usual, changing your default behaviors means you need to think about how you tend to react and what the underlying reason is for this. Who are you modelling?

Part of our Parent-Egos is caring, and tries to protect from the consequences of mistakes. This is why many managers micro-manage their subordinates. You try to make sure they won’t make mistakes by reducing the leeway for mistakes to a minimum.

Unfortunately, micro-management is based on what the job was like when you did it, and you are no longer in such close touch with the requirements as you now have other demands on your time and your approach might not have been the best one, anyway, This can often mean that a micro-managing boss’s instructions are the cause of problems, so a well-meaning attempt to prevent mistakes can actually precipitate them, while the boss’s own performance suffers because he is not giving enough time to his job.

If you find you have a tendency to do this, remember this is a sign of a caring Parent-Ego as well as a sign of insecurity and a tendency to over-control a subordinate (or child).

Managers who don’t delegate properly are restricting their own chances of promotion. Behaving like this means your subordinates aren’t becoming independent and capable of taking over your job. If you are going to be promoted, you need to have at least one, but preferably several of your subordinates capable of independent action and ready for promotion as well. Be ready to take opportunities to develop them.

A parent has a natural concern for the safety of offspring, but all too many take the easy option of forbidding any new venture into independence. 


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