Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Management Should Push Folks Until They Push Back

Pushing folks until they push back is a technique used by managers in an attempt to maximize the productivity of their subordinates. A manager intentionally assigns too much work or moves up deadlines until a subordinate either (a) refuses to accept the assignment, or (b) fails to complete the assignment on time...

Using this technique, a manager hopes to discover the following:

Subordinates generally don't like this technique, especially when they learn that it is a technique. Many people, especially inexperienced people, feel a duty to accept whatever a manager dishes out. But managers respect those who know their limits and are willing to admit them.

As a subordinate, the best way to deal with a manager who uses this technique is to keep careful track of all the commitments being made, and when they approach the "undoability" level, talk about them with the manager. Don't get upset, don't try to do everything being asked, and don't quit without first trying to negotiate a reasonable amount of work.

Whether this technique is a good one is debatable. It is tough on subordinates who don't know how to deal with it. It is manipulative. But it can help managers determine what their subordinates are capable of, and to what extent they can manage themselves.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home
| | View blog reactions

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?