Are you guilty of bad boss behaviour? The chances are that nobody will tell you, least of all your employees. But we will!
Employees tolerate a lot of bad management. Some bosses are untrained in how to lead. Others may be uncaring or clueless to the challenges faced by the individuals in their team. And some are just oblivious to the impact of their actions or interaction.
For an ordinary employee, it takes immense courage to give direct feedback to a manager. It’s risky too. What if it goes over badly? Are they likely to face a reprimand or worse?
If they choose not to table their thoughts, as most do faced with this intimidating scenario, then it takes a lot of commitment for them to look past any transgressions and stay engaged.
In the worst case scenario, an employee moves on to greener pastures, leaving their boss no wiser of their shortcomings, or the reason behind the revolving door and continual recruitment drive.
Worth addressing? We think so. Read on – because nobody need know you’re doing so, and it might save you a whole heap of grief – you and your employees.
WHAT IT IS TO BE INCOMPETENT
Incompetence is a slur thrown around and can mean different things to different people. Generally, incompetence is an inability to do your job satisfactorily, the way others might expect.
It can be a passing phase, brought on by random circumstances. We’ve all found ourselves in situations that overwhelm us and have felt unequal to the task in hand at some point. This is pretty natural in the normal course of things. Put your hand up and ask for help – situation solved. That’s not necessarily incompetence. That’s just you, having a moment.
When incompetence lingers and repeats itself, when the same situations occur on repeat, it’s more than just a passing phase. In this scenario, you need help. If you find yourself in a role where the shoe really doesn’t fit, the best course of action by far is to ask for help and advice, or find a role that’s better suited to your shoe size and skill set. That could be inside the company – or it could be elsewhere.
Own it. The problem, the scenario – be accountable. Because those around you have a ringside view of every stumble, blunder and fall. They’re most likely talking too, a situation which isn’t healthy or helpful for any of us.
CAUGHT IN THE CLUTCHES OF YOUR EGO
Egos are tricky things. If you’re not careful, yours can sneak up and announce itself when you least expect it. Before you know it, you’re acting in ways that simply aren’t conducive to good leadership. You’re not valuing your team, you’re not adding value to the discussion, and deep down you know it.
Our ego can be our biggest barrier to success. We’re all good at something but we’re not necessarily the best. Some people find that hard to accept, and they waste a lot of everyone’s time and effort in denying it. Ultimately, it’s worth sacrificing your ego and ‘settling’ for mainstream. Because if we all stick to what we’re good at and work together instead of trying to outshine everyone else, we can make greatness happen – together.
To be outstanding in a particular field takes a deep level of mastery. To create mastery as a group is easier. We’re better as a tribe. Try it.
CIRCLE OF TRUST - OR LACK THERE OF
Management gone wrong makes employees feel unprotected and insecure. It creates an atmosphere of uncertainty and a fear of consequences. Marcus Buckingham, British author and motivational speaker has famously said, ‘People don’t leave bad companies, they leave bad managers.’
Great leaders can define a culture. They drive engagement, safety and trust. They look out for the person on their left, while supporting the person to their right, and they never forget about the people above and below.
This type of leader stands out. They’re instantly recognizable. Their employees can be seen to trust them implicitly - they’re given no reason to feel otherwise. And they’re followed because that naturally feels right to those around them.
A leader like this can be certain that when the chips are down their tribe will back them, working smarter, harder, creating greatness.
So if you find yourself standing alone, have a think about your circle of trust. Do you have one? Or are you mostly gazing at your own reflection? Perhaps a few people loiter around you submissively. If so, it could be because you’re paying their salary.
Give them a better reason for staying.