Plenty of people can share woes of having bad bosses. Some especially cite ‘seagull management’ strategies that some managers exhibit - they come in, make a lot of noise, shout at people, poop (figuratively) on people and fly away. How much can management techniques affect workers? Gulf News readers share their thoughts


Identify why negative tendencies arise

Working for a large conglomerate, it was quite common for me to meet my peers from other departments whose bosses showed characteristics of seagull managers. These were managers who were erratic and arrogant, hurting the morale of their subordinates and blamed others for their failures.

I must admit that all of us who have to manage people are seagull managers sometimes because of the situation. Though I would hate to criticise or discourage my subordinates without understanding what the job involves the pressure of getting it done builds up.

The real challenge is in trying to understand whether the seagull tendencies get the better of us and we must try hard to eliminate the negative influences of the seagull behaviour. However, it’s not an easy ride as work can get quite demanding.

Personally I learned the trait of being positive quite early in my career. I was introduced to a strategic management planning tool that helped.

From Mr Yousuf Sait

Head of manufacturing at a company based in Dubai


Employees should have a connection with their managers

Research in the field of human resources has found that management roles have a lasting effect on the culture of the organisation. One such form of authority can be seagull managers.

However, seagull managers are authoritative managers and critics often identified for their negative roles while dealing with employees with minimal emotional connection.

Most employees spend an average of 8 to 9 hours at office, which itself is a big part of their life. The health of such employees depends on appreciation, acknowledgement, a progressive career path, encouragement, training and basically a sense of belonging at work. In the presence of these, employees earn the organisational citizenship for themselves that benefit both ends in the long run.

However, seagull managers disconnect employees from organisational goals with their negative perspective of problem solving, lack of farsightedness and lack of two-way communication causing far more qualitative harm to the organisation than what they earn as quantitative rewards.

Managers are expected to earn employee loyalty and integrity through communication of rational goals set on both ends. Inclusion and polices based on emotional intelligence are often the easiest of all strategies to gain long term commitment from employees.

I firmly recommend candidates who first attempt to understand the organization’s current and future goals and are able to apply them to their career maps and aspirations with flexibility and passion, whilst ensuring the overall wellness of their team as the best fit for leadership roles.

From Ms Taqleed Sayyed

Human resources specialist based in Abu Dhabi


Encouragement and positive reinforcement are needed

It is no doubt that a correlation between a manager’s behaviour is directly proportional to the effective workforce, environment, and attitude of the employees.

Substandard managerial skills carry a long term effect on the reputation of the company as a whole. The results of a toxic and misleading leadership from a manager can go beyond failure when it comes to coordination and operation, which can lead to employee retention and bringing a bad name to the reputation of the company.

On the other hand, a strong will, effective, and understanding manager with great and positive management skills puts great effect on the company such as empowering employees, team building, and development in the organisation. True management needs leading as an example and enhancing a positive working environment for employees to work on their best capacity.

Key differences between good and bad management includes avoiding recognition, instilling fear, creating negative environments, running bad leadership skills, and even worse, promoting bad behaviour.

To counter these misdemeanours, good management skills involve praising, reprimanding, sharing ideas, developing skills, and enhancing relationships. People need to be praised for what they do, they need to know how they are doing, what they did right and mentioning how good a manager feels about what they did right and how it helps the organisation, and encourage them to do more of the same.

A good manager is a good leader. Someone who has the potential to be a winner and systematically train their people to win.

From Mr Adam Khattab

Entrepreneur based in Dubai

Soft skills

Connecting on the personal level is important

The measure of an organisation’s success can be assessed through the efficiency of its teams and how cohesively they are engaged in working in collaborations.

A manager’s primary role is to set the goals or objectives for its organization, department or project, identifying the direction towards those goals and allocating or acquiring sufficient resources to achieving those goals. Thus, managing teams is the foundation of all successful management and becomes a motivating and stimulating challenge to any manager. Achieving technical superiority in terms of knowledge and ability is a lesser governing factor, rather it is the soft or personal skills that determine the manager’s ability to attain sustained levels of commitment from the team members. Connecting with the team members on professional and personal levels creates a higher degree of mutual understanding and trust and promotes emotional well-being within the entire team. Such qualities are essential in achieving commitment, much more than just compliance.

An effective manager thoroughly understands the dynamics involved in successfully managing teams and how their attitude and behaviour can impact their performance. A managers’ communication style and methods are one of the leading attributes that has a drastic influence on the teams’ performance. A continuous and direct mode of communication enables managers to create a shared sense of direction, establish priorities, reduce disorder and uncertainty and facilitates learning. From the team perspective it develops a sense of support and reassurance that drives a positive attitude and commitment.

From Mr Bilal Farooq

Project engineer based in Abu Dhabi

Poll results

Have you ever worked under a manager who had poor communication with the team?

Yes 77%

No 23%

Have your say

How important should it be to set clear goals and expectations for their employees for a manager?

What kind of strategies should be in place to ensure a positive work environment?

To share your views on this topic or join future debates, write to us at readers@gulfnews.com