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Meetings Control Freaks Threats Condescending Treatment

Our new manager is very strict, and he said that prompt attendance at his staff meetings is essential. Then he added that if we are late, he will lock the door. We thought he was kidding, but when I arrived a few minutes late because I was on a business phone call, I was locked out. The only message from the manager was for me to get to the next meeting on time. How does this sound to you?

When managers resort to locked doors, it is often a symptom of a locked mind. After all, this kind of thinking has locked out such concepts as treating employees with respect and trust, managing with some flexibility, and focusing on the employees' individual needs and responsibilities.

There is no question that employees should attend meetings on time, and that expectation should be clearly voiced to all of them. However, there can be any number of important work-related circumstances that can cause an employee to be late. Threatening to lock an employee out of a meeting implies that a manager does not mind if that employee hangs up on a customer, ignores a key question from a co-worker, or walks out in the middle of an important discussion with an associate.

And further, when employees miss an entire meeting, as opposed to missing a few minutes, someone is going to have to take even more time to update them. If your manager wants employees to act as adults, he needs to treat them as adults. Locking employees out of a meeting creates an adversarial relationship, and that can only lead to an adverse outcome.

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