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Preventing Stress in Organizations: How to Develop Positive Managers by Emma Donaldson-Feilder, Rachel Lewis, Joanna Yarker

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Chapter 9

Overcoming Barriers to Positive Manager Behaviour

While most managers intend to behave in ways that are positive and conducive to staff well-being, it is not always easy actually to do so. One of the findings of our research was that there are a range of barriers to, or things that get in the way of, showing positive behaviour; these may even lead to managers showing negative behaviour. Our research suggests that these barriers operate at different levels:

1. personal level;

2. individual work or job level;

3. team and relationship level; and

4. organizational and wider level.

Managers need to be aware of the barriers that are significant for their own situation and how they can be overcome. If you are working with managers through training or coaching to help them show Positive Manager Behaviour, you will need to acknowledge and explore these barriers in order to ensure that they are overcome appropriately. It is likely that each manager will have a different set of barriers with which they have to contend. However, if you work with a group of managers in a particular organization, there may be common barriers, particularly at the organizational and wider level; and, where common barriers exist, managers may be able to support one another in finding solutions.

When you help managers to identify their barriers to displaying positive behaviours (or issues causing them to display negative behaviours), you may find that managers feel that these barriers are insuperable ...

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