All “Ask Skip” Questions that appear in this blog are actual questions submitted to me directly from blog subscribers or other inquiries that come in through the main website or via my Social Media pages on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Feel free to submit your own “Leadership, Teamwork or Workplace Communication” question here!
There are a couple of issues to consider in this situation:
- First, sometimes this can be an example of “the pot calling the kettle black.” By that I mean sometimes it takes a controlling personality to know a controlling personality. Many business owners who have owned their companies for a long period of time become so connected to the way they’ve been doing things over the years that have made them successful, they are not open to ideas and contributions from others who are “just” employees.
Often, if the employee is a solid part of the team, and they have proven over time to be trustworthy, are making suggestions because they truly see better, more effective and profitable ways of doing things. If it is possible this may be the case in this situation, then I encourage my clients to lead with humility, bring an open mind to the conversation and consider the suggestions.
This does a couple of things:
- It allows the employee to feel “heard” and “valued” and will make them even more open to contributing at higher levels to the organization.
- It builds higher levels of trust and respect between the leader and their team members.
- Secondly, if this truly is a “controlling, know it all employee” understand that this type of behavior is usually due to low self-esteem and low self-confidence. From those issues may stem a job insecurity issues causing them to feel a need to strike out and show their knowledge and worth in ways that attempt to build themselves up, while making others look bad and wrong, even their bosses. This can be a very challenging personality style that must be dealt with or can ruin an organizational culture and cause low morale and low trust on a team.
In this situation the boss, or business owner in your case, must do two things:
- Be very clear on areas of authority and responsibility for all employees and monitor specific situations in which this individual oversteps their position.
- Then, any indiscretion identified or experienced first hand in the work environment by the leader (or their boss), must be dealt with immediately so as to not give the impression that this type of behavior is acceptable. Behaviors that are allowed to persist send the message that the behavior is acceptable and will continue and get more ingrained while harder to reel in as time goes on.
To work specifically on this and other leadership strategies to improve overall performance on your team you are going to want to participate in the “Confident Leaders Training Camp” either the live TeleClass version or the home study version that will soon be available, learn more here.
If anyone would like further clarification on this please feel free to leave a comment below and start a discussion for all to learn from.
’til next time, make it a great day!
If you have an issue you are dealing with in leading your team and/or organization that you would like answered in my “Ask Skip” column, click here to submit your own “Leadership, Teamwork or Workplace Communication” question here and you might just see your question answered here in the coming weeks. I also promise to reply directly so that you get the help you need when you need it.