Psychology Melbourne Blog

News and Insights from the Science of the Mind

Psychology tips for managers

By Gavin Sharp,

One of Psychology Melbourne's corporate psychologists, Gavin Sharp, had some great advice for senior executives experiencing the isolation that confronts anyone who achieves higher office.

In an interview in The Age's Executive Style section, he acknowledged that managers had to accept a degree of loneliness as the inevitable result of their responsibilities.

"Sometimes you have to distance yourself," he told The Age's Sylvia Pennington.

But as a psychologist who has made a lengthy study of workplace issues, aimed at assisting managers to deal with potentially costly problems, Gavin says that sometimes it makes sense to keep the barriers between management and staff as low as possible.

This can mean sitting with the team rather than segregating yourself in a corner office or on a higher floor, being diligent about greeting people when you arrive each day and letting employees know your movements when you're on the road.

He also recommends having an external network to allow executives to discuss things they can't share with subordinates, or simply to vent. He warns, however, that you have to be prepared to hear some frank opinions that may differ from your own.

He recommends using a business coach, trusted advisers in or outside the business, or a forum like The CEO Institute or The Executive Connection (TEC).

They can provide managers with ideas they haven't thought of.

And, he warns, "Don’t surround yourself with ‘yes men’ – you need to be prepared to take constructive and negative feedback.”


About the author, Gavin Sharp

Gavin is a corporate psychologist and has over 15 years experience as an organisational consultant psychologist. Learn more about Gavin Sharp.