Articles :: That Bad Boss is Killing You ::

Travis Bradberry Ph.D. · 09-27-2008 · Category: Guides

Three Surefire Strategies to Ground Your Seagull Tendencies

The real question is not are you a seagull manager but when are you a seagull manager. Every single one of us is a seagull manager sometimes, in some situations, and with some people. Follow these strategies to fly higher and eradicate the negative influences of seagull behavior:

1. Make Sure Your Expectations Are Full-Fledged - Whereas the seagull manager creates the need to swoop in and set his team straight, the superior manager gets everyone headed in the right direction from the very beginning by ensuring that expectations are full fledged.

2. Get Your Communication To Click - Whereas the rare visit from the seagull manager results in a lot of squawking, the superior manager maintains a steady flow of clear, reciprocal communication.

3. Keep Your Paws On Performance - And whereas the seagull manager manages his or her team’s performance by swooping in and dumping on everybody, the superior manager ensures that he or she is present to deliver positive and negative feedback in small, digestible doses.

It’s easy to spot a seagull manager when you’re on the receiving end of the airborne dumps, but the manager doing the swooping, squawking, and dumping is often unaware of the negative impact of his or her behavior. And managers aren’t the only ones. In too many US organizations senior leadership is unschooled in the profoundly negative impact seagull managers are having upon their bottom line. The very individuals with the authority to alter the course of company culture lack the facts that would impel them to do so.

With the stoic pragmatism that one might expect from a Finnish University professor, Dr. Mika Kivimäki, the director of the study, had this to say about the team’s findings, “Most people care deeply about just treatment by authorities.” Indeed we do, Dr. Kivimäki. Indeed we do.


  1. Introduction
  2. Three Surefire Strategies to Ground Your Seagull Tendencies
  3. About SQUAWK!

Discuss This Article