Thursday, March 28, 2019

Disagreeable = Supportive

Adam Grant wrote about creativity in Originals, and in the process discovered a lot about management's role with and affect on people. Here are some of my highlights:
the most supportive managers sometimes provide the least support

At work, our sense of commitment and control depends more on our direct boss than on anyone else.

Disagreeable managers are typically the last people we seek when we’re going to go out on a limb, but they are sometimes our best advocates.

As much as agreeable people may love us, they often hate conflict even more. Their desire to please others and preserve harmony makes them prone to backing down instead of sticking up for us.

As a Google employee put it, disagreeable managers may have a bad user interface but a great operating system.

Agreeable people were happiest in the moments when they doled out compliments and praise, smiled and laughed with others, expressed affection, reassured others, and compromised or made concessions to please others.

Disagreeable people, in contrast, experienced the greatest joy when they were criticizing, confronting, or challenging others.

In the decision to speak up, whom we choose as our audience matters as much as how we deliver our message.

Disagreeable managers are more inclined to challenge us, improving our ability to speak up effectively.

Instead of speaking up to audiences who are highly agreeable, we’re better off targeting suggestions to people with a history of originality. Research shows that when managers have a track record of challenging the status quo, they tend to be more open to new ideas and less threatened by contributions from others. They care more about making the organization better than about defending it as it stands. They’re motivated to advance the organization’s mission, which means they’re not so loyal that they turn a blind eye to its shortcomings.
Source: Originals; emphasis and links added

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