Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mushroom management

The old saying about treating people like "mushrooms" means you keep them in the dark and feed them crap (or another word that won't be used in this post). Treating someone that way is demeaning, for sure, but there are some aspects of it to be sensitive to.

People treated like that are often valuable people who are left alone to figure things out and somehow survive. What I have found is since they get almost no feedback, they also become judges of their own performance.

When we leave people alone and deprive them of perspective, they create their own perspective. That's why that person may have a grandiose opinion of their value. It's only reasonable that happens. But we all pay for it.

I worked with a young lady who was "left in the dark" by her manager. She had an extreme view of her value and greatness as well as a demeaning view of her manager (who was brilliant). It was sad because it could have worked out for everyone, but she had to leave to pursue her own greatness. When she landed elsewhere, she found that while she was a good performer in certain aspects, she was woefully deficient in others, all because she had never learned from her manager (and her manager never invested time in her).

Mushroom management is the easiest path for everyone in the short run and the most disappointing in the long run.

Barry LaBov
LaBov Marketing Communications and Training


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