Do You Have A Seagull Manager?

Not everyone in a senior position within a school has good interpersonal skills. This always baffles me as to how they actually get there in the first place but they do, it’s just one of those things (JOOTT).

Some line managers are known as “seagull managers” (Blanchard, 2015) because they fly in, squawk, cover you in the white stuff, fly off again and leave others to clean up the mess.

These toxic types really don’t get the best out of people. They are quick to criticise or give you a look of disdain and offer very little to your day other than grief. Their negative feedback will linger in your head all week.

Seagull managers like to think of themselves as VIPs within the school and without them the school would just fall apart. In reality, if they left then everyone would breathe a collective sigh of relief and the school would be a healthier place for their departure.

The problem is, seagull managers tend to stick around because they know they are on to a good thing and like to boss people about. They like to swoop in and save the day if they catch wind that the day needs saving or they sense you might be struggling. If they can fly in and be the hero then they will try and they like to make a lot of noise when they are doing it.

They can be erratic, arrogant and damn right annoying. They damage staff morale and blame others for their failures.

Here’s the scary part – according to Bradberry (2009) “every single manager is a seagull manager sometimes, in some situations, and with some people. ”

Taking a bird’s eye view of our own behaviour is essential so that if needs-be we fly higher and “eradicate the influences of seagull behaviour.”

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