#36 Manager or Therapist?

When do we stop being a manager and cross into therapy? Understanding and analysing human behaviour is an essential skill for managers. But most managers aren’t professionally trained psychologists. How should managers be emotionally supporting their direct reports and what lines should they not cross?

0:50mins Where do we draw boundaries as an employer and employee?

3:30 Is it the manager’s job to help people express their emotions? Pilar recalls this great scene from the show Superstore

Mateo: This job is hard enough. People need to talk, to vent, to feel heard! It’s like they’re emotionally constipated, and some of them are very physically bloated as well.
Dina: What, so, because I’m manager, I have to help people poop their emotions all over the place?

Superstore Season 6 Episode 4 “Prize Wheel”

5:10 Tim highlights that managers need permission from our reports to have conversations.

6:00 Sometimes we feel we are being forced to be a therapist against our will. Managers can have boundaries too!

8:00 Managers can pass their own baggage on to other people, especially to their direct reports. The importance of self awareness yet again.

10:30 We explore how the dynamic between manager and employee is different to that of a therapist and patient.

We are curious about you, dear listener? Do you consider counselling your staff as part of your toolkit as a manager? We’d love to hear from you.


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