Management malpracice; what is it and how to get rid of it

By Robert Côtes

Management malpractice occurs when organizations hire, retain, and support supervisors and managers who do not have the interpersonal and people management skills required to improve organizational performance through their people.

Actions to avoid at all cost

  • -> Selecting new managers based on arbitrary systems such as seniority, technical competence, and personal bias
  • -> Hiring new managers without regard for their people skills
  • -> Retaining managers who are unskilled at getting results through people
  • -> Allowing managers to behave unprofessionally despite countless complaints made by their employees and their peers.


So how do we overcome management malpractice and install competent, professional management? The answer lies in our hiring practice and in the implementation of quality people management skills training and education that is practical, experiential, where skills are practiced and transferable, and which deals with the realities of the organization.

First, Leaders need to be technically sound. Those who lack technical competence run the risk of loosing credibility and respect. Selecting managers who are not technically knowledgeable is simply unwise, as it sets them up for failure even before they begin. Secondly, managers must be selected for their people skills. They must understand that people will work best when they are encouraged to provide input and suggestions for improvement, are recognized for their contribution, are given the tools and resources to get the job done, and treated with respect and professionalism. Treating others the way we want to be treated is very much alive here.

Managers need to demonstrate the ability to develop strong and positive relationships with their direct reports and their peers. I may be a little biased here, but from my extensive management training experience, I can assert with certainty that developing interpersonal competence is considerably more challenging than acquiring technical know-how.

Consequences of management malpractice

When an organization allows management malpractice to take root and grow, the results are widespread, affecting all areas and aspects of the organization. The first impact is felt by the entire corporate population. When management malpractice makes up part of the culture, or the way the organization functions, employees are sent resounding messages, and not necessarily spoken;



  • -> Difficulty retaining talent – talented folks leave dysfunctional corporate cultures. Inconsistencies, favoritism, lack of growth opportunities, and an absence of recognition to name a few, are key reasons I personally heard talented employees give when leaving their jobs.

  • -> Difficulty attracting talent – well it rather makes sense; if talent leaves, talent is not attracted. Remember that bad news travels much faster than good news. As such, the organization has, over the course of time, developed a solid reputation in the industry, as well as within the local business community, for not being the greatest place to work.

  • -> Trust issues – management malpractice automatically creates a lack of trust between managers and their direct reports, as well as between managers themselves. Many of the issues that should be dealt with are simply not, as ineffectual managers tend to procrastinate by pushing these types of issues to the side, or attack the issues without much regard for those involved.

  • -> Conflicts – many conflicts are unnecessarily created and could have been avoided in the first place. These conflicts are mainly caused by an overall lack of attention in dealing with and resolving people issues in an effective and professional manner.

  • -> Organizational performance – there is no doubt that management malpractice affects the overall performance of the organization, not to mention its bottom line.

  • -> Accountability – accountability for successes is generally ignored while accountability for failures is augmented. It’s important to “catch” employees “doing it right”, rather than focus only on “catching” them “doing it wrong”.

About Us


Since 1994, The Management Development Group has partnered with organizations committed to the development of their Managers and Supervisors into Quality Leaders. The way to achieve this is to upskill/reskill leadership teams to bring about the successful deployment and execution of Best Practices in the day-to-day management and supervision of their most valuable asset; their employees.

Our Approach


There are no shortcuts or quick fixes when it comes to training & development in People Management Skills. To achieve Best Practices, an organization truly needs to commit to a long-term development strategy, and that is precisely what The Management Development Group offers – long-term partnerships to achieve positive and lasting change, ensuring a significant return on your training investment.

Our Commitment


The company is owned and operated by Robert Côtes, who brings over 30 years of training and program design experience. His facilitation style and group leadership skills are widely acclaimed by corporate clients and graduates alike. Robert’s passion is consistently felt through his delivery combined with his undying commitment to ensure our client’s success.



High Impact Development


Our clients reach their development objectives for 3 reasons. First, our learning system is relevant, dealing with today’s management issues, and contains both educational (theory) and training (application) sessions and combined, form a powerful experiential, “learn by doing” system. The second reason for our client’s success is the facilitator’s ability to engage participants and create a supportive, fun yet candid learning environment. The third and last reason is our client’s commitment to a long term development effort, for change is not an overnight process. It takes time.

Step 1 (Core Program)

Prerequisite for Steps 2 & 3
supervisor business communication training and business communication skills for managers

Business Communication an Interpersonal Skills Management Learning System

Business Communication an Interpersonal Skills Management Learning System teaches powerful communication strategies that are used to approach, manage, and ultimately resolve day-to-day conflicts and “people issues”. The program is made up of three modules, each is a building block targeting specific communication and management skills. Training is conducted in cohorts of no more than 10 participants.

Step 2 (Follow-up)

Prerequisite; Step 1
effective communication skills course and leadership communication

Refresher Workshop

Graduates are invited back to the training room for a full review of the concepts, skills, approaches, and strategies imparted in the core program (step 1). The workshop consists of two – 3.5hr sessions with a maximum of ten (10) participants. The first session focuses on the review part of the effort while session 2 concentrates on activities that give graduates the opportunity to demonstrate the strategies learned in Step 1.

Step 3 (Optional)

Prerequisite; Step 1
performance management training and development

Performance Development a Leadership Approach to High Performance

Most organizations have at their disposal a variety of tools to measure performance levels, compare them to expected ones, and arrive at ways to achieve peak performance from their employees; all in an effort to improve and maintain organizational performance. This paper trail is indispensable and requires consistent application and monitoring in order to be effective and reach the intended objectives.



What Graduates Are Saying

(The following comments are taken from actual graduate evaluations)


A few of Our Clients