Why Manager Rants in the Office are Never Productive

Soapbox Managing

Hey Manager, it’s time to kick the Soapbox to the curb!

Have you ever sat in a meeting with your team and the manager comes in and starts yelling? Starts pointing and shooting information laden with complaints about your performance? If you work with a team, and you have a boss, the chances are you can answer YES. 

But have you ever thought to ask this…how does that experience change your performance?

Sadly we have a large workforce of middle managers who think that this point and shoot style of leading is effective. That if they stand on their proverbial soapbox long enough, they will be effective or get results. Their team will start performing. Their people will begin to meet their quota’s and the list goes on. Yes, if the aforementioned were true, we wouldn’t have underperforming teams. But we do. So it is proven meeting after meeting, Soapbox leadership and ranting to our teams does not a productive team make.

So if we know that this tactic or leadership style doesn’t work, why do we promote it? That my friend, is the $64,000 question! If only the answer were worth that much. 

We don’t necessarily promote it, we allow it. We promote the people not the behavior and that is an important distinction for us to understand. In offices all across this great land we have middle managers who engage in behavior that is loud, boisterous and demeaning. They are pontificating about how ‘people are failing or letting them down, and they need to stop.’ These individuals are not feared because of their bark, they are avoided because of their sting. 

The sting is that painful realization that comes when we see that this manager is not someone we can trust to lead us forward. That if things are going to change in the workplace, within the team and our collective performance, it is up to the individuals to decide to be different. It is time to stop waiting for that manager to know how to lead us up and out. 

So how do we do this and more importantly to many, why? 

That answer is actually quite simple. 

Because you VALUE your work, your reputation and your end result. 

If there were an easy way to blow up the soapbox way of leadership, it would have been done by now. But unfortunately there isn’t. That said, having bold conversations helps with your manager, (always do it away from the team) and after the soapbox rant has passed. But that is only good if the manager is open to hearing from you. Know this, manager’s who exhibit this behavior are not feeling as though they matter or that they are succeeding. This behavior can almost always be tied back to fear. And until that is addressed, the root cause of the behavior won’t change. 

Now, you can change you're response and/or reaction to it!! 

That is where your personal power lays. See, whether you work under a pontificating blowhard who likes the sound of his voice on level 10, or not, your performance really depends on your approach to the value you place on YOU. No other person get’s to take away the value you see in you and your work day after day but you. Period. End of story.

Do we want the manager’s to see their behavior is destructive? Yes. 

Do we want it to change? Yes and Yes.

And maybe, just maybe, that change begins with the way you view your present situation. The way you approach your work. The knowing that you are a quality person and no one can take that away from you.  

Question: How will you approach your manager the next time they assume their Soapbox position?