The Difference between Strong Management and Overbearing Management

As a manager, it is important to be assertive and determined.  After all you have to be able to set clear goals and make sure your employees reach them. This is the mark of a great manager, right?  While the ability to be decisive and take action is certainly an important characteristic of strong managers, what happens when you are a little too assertive?  While you might see it as just doing your job, your employees might begin to see you as an overbearing boss who has created a tense working environment for everyone.  If your employees are not comfortable with you, you might be missing out on great ideas and far worse you might end up losing great employees. Therefore, it is important for you to discern between strong management and overbearing management so you can be the most effective manager.

Strong Managers…have excellent communication skills and know how to get their team on the same page so everyone can work together toward a common goal.  They know exactly what needs to be done and they communicate it clearly to their employees. They make sure everyone is aware of their own specific tasks.  Once they have communicated the tasks, they trust their employees to get the job done on their own.

Overbearing Managers…tell their employees what to do and how to do it.  They think it is their job to impart their own way of doing things onto their employees and they leave their employees with little room to figure things out on their own.  They are perceived as a micromanager because they are constantly looking over their employee’s shoulder to see if they are doing the work correctly.

Strong Managers…motivate their employees to work hard.  They encourage them by providing positive feedback, offering rewards and incentives, providing additional support if needed, and making their employees feel valued. They recognize improvement and are committed to helping their employees grow.  

Overbearing Managers…look at everything as a competition.  The employees are either “winning” or “losing” and they come at everything with an overly competitive attitude.

Strong Managers…provide feedback to help their employees grow.  They praise employees for a job well done and they offer constructive criticism when necessary in order to better educate the employee.

Overbearing Managers…offer their unsolicited opinion on everything their employee’s say and do even if it not related to the job.  Rather than providing feedback at certain times, they are ready to fire their opinion about anything and everything.

Strong Managers…give their employees a chance to lead.  They value their thoughts and opinions and ask them for feedback.   

Overbearing Managers…rarely ask employees for feedback because they have a difficult time taking direction or letting others tell them what to do.  

Strong Managers…have an open-door policy and encourage employees to come to them with questions or concerns.  They have a trusting relationship that makes employees feel comfortable discussing issues with them.  

Overbearing Managers…create an environment where employees feel nervous and uncomfortable talking to them.  Employees avoid direct communication with an overbearing manager.

Strong Managers…understand that success takes time but hard work pay off.  They want their employees to work hard and be productive and they encourage that by modeling it for them.

Overbearing Managers…constantly feel a sense of urgency and they get frustrated if other people don’t feel the same sense of urgency.  They stress their employees out and rush them through their work.