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Irish managers 'need to get better at talking tough with their employees'

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Dr Simon Boucher

Dr Simon Boucher

Dr Simon Boucher

Irish managers need to improve when it comes to having difficult conversations with employees, the head of the Irish Management Institute said.

Dr Simon Boucher, pictured, told the Irish Independent that there is a "fair capacity" for improvement in standards.

"I think we're very good at building relationships, maybe the other end of the spectrum to that is that if you want to have strong relationships, sometimes you don't want to have to have hard messages for people."

"So performance management discussions sometimes aren't hard-hitting enough, aren't straight-talking enough."

"But at the same time, if you were to look for a generic Irish style it's got really good strengths as well, so Irish managers tend to be good at negotiation, they tend to be good at connecting to people," he added.

"I spent a tiny bit of time in Brussels and if you look at the Secretary General of the European Commission, you have Catherine Day, before her David O'Sullivan. So it's amazing to think that you've got so many Irish people, consistently at the highest level of European politics, and it's because they're very good at dealing in a cross-cultural way, they're very good at building relationships."

"I wouldn't over-egg it, you can get into the sense of playing to a cultural stereotype, but that's what comes out in the data."

Dr Boucher, a former lecturer at Trinity College Dublin, said managers also need to be better at setting goals.

"I think it's about having very clear objectives in the first place, and out of that having a very clear strategy and being able to cascade objectives across an entire organisation from a single shared objective."

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