08 January 2006


The Seven Deadly Sins for Library Managers and their antidote, The Seven Desirable Strategies

Just out from Rachel Singer Gordon, here are some do's and don'ts for managers. They are based on a 2004 online survey of 343 library staff members on their managers’ qualities and effectiveness. There is more detail in her article in Free Pint #197, 5 January 2006, http://www.freepint.com/issues/050106.htm#tips.
Way to go, Rachel!

The Seven Deadly Sins
1. Micromanagement: “employees’ most common complaint” (25 percent)
2. Lack of communication: “assume people already know what they need to know, believe knowledge is power, or want to avoid giving unpleasant news.”
3. Fostering divisiveness: “differing treatment” of degreed and non-degreed staff.
4. Abusiveness: overreaction, due to feeling insecurity
5. Failure to listen: inflexible, “unwilling to listen to different options and opinions”
6. Avoiding conflict: ignoring problems, ignoring personnel conflicts
7. Taking credit for others’ work

The Seven Desirable Strategies
1. Encouraging growth: fosters professional development
2. Providing autonomy: “trust people to do their work, effectively delegate responsibility, provide support” “people generally rise to expectations”
3. Looking out for staff: if they stand up for staff, staff will stand up for them
4. Respecting everyone’s contribution: to “keep up morale”
5. Leading by example: “keeping a hand in frontline duties” and “pitch in when needed
6. Communicating and listening: “Organizations where information flows freely simply work better.”
7. Providing leadership and vision: “articulate a vision of change” and “lead people through”

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