Why Your Employees Won’t Listen to You

business (10)Talk to any manager about the problems they’re having with their employees and one of the main complaints is, “They won’t do what I tell them to do.”  However, the problem is often with the supervisor and not with the employees.  Many mangers don’t want to do the job of managing; they want the employees to manage themselves.

But, if you’re a manager who wants to manage and are looking for ways to get your employees to respond better, the fact that you may be the problem is good news.  If it’s your problem then the solution lies with you, it’s in your control to change.  With coaching, some practice and a little introspection the problem of getting people to follow your instructions can be greatly reduced.  These are the 3 most common errors many supervisors make.

Poor communication skills – The biggest problem people have with communication is assuming it has taken place.  Effective communication skills don’t come naturally to most people, they must be learned.  An effective manager will make the effort to learn the skills.  Ultimately being a better communicator will make your professional and personal life easier.

Don’t want to be the “Bad Guy” – Many managers don’t want to be the bad guy, they want to be liked.  However, kindheartedness is frequently a pretext for weakness.  It’s more important to be respected than liked.  People will like you and still take advantage of you.

Poor or no follow through – Countless managers mistakenly believe, “I shouldn’t have to hold their hand. I should only have to tell them once and they should do it.”  This idea shows a poor understanding of human nature.  People learn through a repetitive 3 step process – instruction, supervision (manager, parent, teacher) and consequences for poor work or praise for good work.

After you’ve corrected your errors and have consistently implemented the changes, you‘ll find most employees will understand and perform better.  However, there will always be difficult employees who no amount of communication will help.  But, with your new skills and knowledge you’ll handle them more effectively.  You’ll be a manager who’s managing.

Nicole Abbott – writer, educator and psycho-therapist