How do you think your staff and colleagues feel when your number pops up on their caller ID?
A few years ago one of my managers told me I was too nice. He said, “People need to fear you more.” This never resonated with me and still doesn’t today. When I get tough on people I tend to go too far and it backfires on me. As I mature and better understand who I am and what skills to exercise in a given situation I am discovering that I need to remain true to my personal nature. Yes, people need to know when they are not meeting expectations but managing with fear doesn’t work for me and for most individuals fear doesn’t motivate them either. I have to be tough yet respectful and empathetic. I’m in a leader position to support, inspire, coach and guide the team to perform at the most optimal level.
I think people with big egos and no self-esteem need to “show people who is the boss.” Ok, maybe I need to have a little more compassion. There are many people who come from crappy childhood backgrounds where they were never given the necessary grounding to build self-confidence or develop a good emotional intellect. These people fear they will be fired, or not accepted and as a result, they fret over the wrong things and drive people from the wrong emotional position. Often these people are very, very intelligent and manage up extremely well but don’t manage across their peer networks or down through their teams very well at all. For years they will pull the wool over their senior managers’ eyes and get promoted, eventually getting to a position where they can no longer hide their lack of emotional intelligence. Then people in their teams start leaving or performing at sub-optimal levels as they don’t want to rock the boat, be called out negatively in front others, or risk dealing with the negative behaviours. Continue reading