HR professionals around the country have been left cringing by a new reality
TV show that focuses on the state of UK management.
Channel 4’s Boss Swap, made by the same team as hit show Wife Swap, aired
for the first time last week and spotlighted two very different managers as
they exchanged roles for 12 days.
Liz Marks, a leadership and management coach who worked as a consultant on
the show, said it offered employers a microcosm of the UK workplace and the
influence a manager’s style can have on a company.
"In a way, boss swaps are taking place in companies all over the
country, all the time whenever managers are brought in. Management style is one
of the most important elements of a successful company," she said.
Marks, who helped the programme makers choose which applicants would be
suitable for the show, claims self-perception was one of the first stumbling
blocks, with many candidates having a false picture of their own style.
"Most people say the same thing about their style. The most common one was
‘my door is always open’ but, in reality, UK managers are still struggling with
the people issues.
"I think the big lesson UK management has to learn is the difference
between individual employees and how you can get the best out of them,"
The series continues tonight when another two managers swap jobs and try to
impose their own style on the staff.
Consultant Liz Marks identifies the UK’s management styles
The invisible manager This type of boss is either not visible to the
team or not really managing people. The invisible manager tends to manage
numbers rather than people.
The dictator Tends to rely on dictatorial power. More likely to tell
people what to do rather than include them in decisions. They have poor people
skills and you only really want them around if there’s a war on.
The coach A real team manager who is into winning hearts and minds.
Will sell rather than tell to get things done. Is strong at communication and
will encourage others to do well.
The chameleon This person has a great managerial tool box and can
choose the best approach for each job. Can change their colours to deal with
Guru would love to hear your alternative management styles. Ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org