The Nightly Entrepreneur | How to Manage “Yes-Men” Effectively

April 16, 2018
by Daniel Klein

I know that as I write this blog article on how to manage “yes-men” effectively, I’m really fighting the urge to tell you to just fire them.

But I’m not going to do that because “yes-men” or “yes-people” serve a purpose. Let’s talk about what that purpose is and how to coach these people to reach their maximum potential.

What is a Yes-Man?

First, let’s talk about what a yes-man is. A yes-man is someone who is so eager to please that they put their own interests and opinions aside to try to make others happy.

Pros of Yes-Men

This isn’t a bad person to have around, it’s just a bad person to put in specific circumstances. Yes-men can be motivating when times get tough. They can support and rally a team when morale is low, and they can help ensure consensus when decisions are tough.

Cons of Yes-Men

Yes-men can produce or help produce some very terrible products. They can prevent you from fixing defective products. Even worse, they can lead a team to destruction if put in charge.

So, how or why would you want a yes-man on your team?

The best answer is to put someone like this in a circumstance where it’s up to them to be creative and come up with a solution themselves. Make sure they have peer reviews and feedback mechanisms in place so they can get critiques. Then, they won’t feel the need to say yes simply because they’re being spoken to by someone who outranks them.

Also, ensure that no one on their team is a bully or will otherwise force opinions or decisions down others throats.

Lastly, ensure these people are very, very good at their jobs. If they aren’t, then you should make sure they’re placed under the wing of an incredibly strong mentor to help get them to that point where they can be the best. If they aren’t the best and you leave them alone with their peers or subordinates, they are likely going to come up with a bad solution, or even a mediocre one.

When you get upset or voice your opinion, it only serves to make the situation worse.

Is Having a Yes-Man Around a Bad Idea?

All told, there are both pros and cons to having a yes-man around. Making the right choice really comes down to knowing your company’s dynamics and needs.

-Yes-men are not all bad and they do have a place on your team.
-Know the team dynamic as you build the team to prevent personality conflicts
-Give those with yes-men tendencies plenty of room from leadership and let them come up with their own creative solutions
-Have their solutions vetted by their peers and subordinates so they don’t feel obligated to change their mind? They will be more comfortable with getting feedback.

We hope this short blog leads you down a path to success in your business journey. So be sure to like and share this blog post on your social media and with your friends as a way to help them as well.

And be sure to check back early and often so you never miss another blog!

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