How Can Theory X And Theory Y Improve The Situation?

Now that you understand the reason for this type of behaviour you can begin to formulate a plan to improve matters. It is best not to confront them with accusations about their style of management, better to try to work with them and “manage upwards “.

As they are so results oriented, the best way to achieve this is to deliver the results they want or need.

Try to understand what their agenda and motivation is. Perhaps they are genuinely busy, are stressed, and have too much on their plate. In this case can you take something off them to lighten their load?

Manage up

Perhaps they are just a chronically bad organiser? Can you get some structure into the system? Help them deliver?

It is useful to anticipate their requirements so that you are able to foresee what they will need, so try to have an open dialogue with them, and get them to think ahead and plan what everyone should be doing now, tomorrow, next week and so on.

Remember their personality is such that they want facts and figures, not thoughts and feelings. They deal in objectives and achievements and are not interested in people’s welfare or development. They may not have much empathy or understanding of these type of issues.

If you can get them to share their objectives, you can align yours with them. As they see you are taking control of the situation, managing yourself, they may feel that they don’t have to control you so tightly and will leave you alone.

Try to deliver

Always make sure you deliver what you say you will, so that they build trust with you. If you have an unrealistic schedule which will not allow you to deliver what is asked of you, you must state clearly why it cannot be achieved. Don’t be negative or unreasonable, but be calm and constructive. Set out what you can deliver, when and why. Look for ways to achieve both of your objectives by a different method or form of compromise.

If the methods they propose to achieve do not suit your working methodology, agree on the results that are required and ask them to let you achieve it your own way. As long as they get the results, they probably won’t care how you achieve them
Don’t confront them by shouting or threatening to report them, but defend yourself reasonably. Remember they probably act like this in response to their own problems. You can help break the deadlock by showing them you are motivated, and willing to take responsibility.

Remember, we began by considering that Theory X management is based on the belief that most people do not like work and must be forced to work towards their company goals and objectives. You need to change their thinking by showing them that is not correct in your case. In turn they should “lighten up “a bit, especially if you help them solve some of their problems.

Theory Z

As a footnote, theory Z was developed in 1981 by William Ouchy . It advocates a management style that combines theory Y and modern Japanese management. It assumes workers have a loyalty to their company and want to use team work and exercise a great deal of freedom in their work. The style relies on the workers attitude and willingness to accept responsibility, rather than on their management.

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