March 16th, 2010

by Pavel Cheshmedjiev

I tried to make a short review of  some of the best soft skills antipatterns that I have met. The idea is not about mocking or not only about it.  Such epic failures of the art of managing people should be considered very carefully because of their importance in the process of building capable development team or at least finding the right place to work and devote to.

Name: Top Motivator
  • Executor: at least department manager
  • Tone: solid, epic
  • Audience: as much as possible
  • Environment: huge hall, might be canteen if such is not available
  • Expected result: absolute devotion to work and better reporting
  • Key phrase: “I know you are very good professionals, definitely the best in the region/continent/world, but you should keep in mind that – if we lose clients you won’t get your salaries !”
Name: Top Democrat
  • Executor: team or department manager
  • Tоне: polite, serious
  • Audience: only before new team member
  • Environment: office with solid walls
  • Expected result: absolute submission to the manager
  • Key phrase: “Look, my team/department is the best and everybody knows it. We have image, respect, we have everything. But is it nothing like democrasy here. You will keep quiet, you’ll listen to me and we won’t have any problems.”
Name: Top Technical Manager
  • Executor: senior manager of technical department/program
  • Tone: very irritated, pathetic
  • Audience: internal management meeting
  • Environment: meeting room with presentation of slides with coloured boxes
  • Expected result: some tech guy should be ashamed
  • Key phrase: “How dare you lose my time with such technical details ! This is scandalous ! I’m going out !”
Name: Top Professional
  • Executor: senior manager
  • Tone: friendly but hypocritical
  • Audience: face to face meeting
  • Environment: office
  • Expected result: maximized hard skiller’s respect and feeling of  insignificance
  • Key phrase: “I’ve done your job before – I know it very well but now I am a manager and I have no time for your problems.”
Name:  Top Team Leader
  • Executor: team manager
  • Tone: calm, hypocritical
  • Audience: team managers
  • Environment: meeting room
  • Expected result: Team Leader’s reputation should be improved significantly
  • Key phrase: “My team consists of a number of small working bees but they are not capable of achieving anything without me as their only mentor and leader”

Top Supporter, Top Delegator, Top Worker, Top Enthusiast and Top Performance Reviewer will be the subject of one of the next papers, because of their exceptional importance in the corporate life. In fact I think that they are even more important and respectively irritating than the  others because they are directly related to our everyday work.

Thanks for the time.