Do You Need to Stop This Trust-Breaking Pattern?
Ninety-five percent of the time you show your confidence in your team’s judgment and initiative by giving them a lot of latitude. You know most people chafe at being micromanaged, and you swore you’d never be that kind of boss.
But you also notice that the rules get bent a little too far a little too often.
You feel disrespected, and despite your best efforts to stay true to your anti-micromanager philosophy, you find yourself at a breaking point. You’re resentful. Maybe a little passive-aggressive? Or you might be the boomerang-blowup type, putting your now-cowering team into lockdown. And then everybody feels discouraged, agitated and undermined.
Worse, you feel ineffective and you worry your team no longer trusts you, or likes you. So you cycle back into leniency, and after a couple of awkward days, things start to normalize.
Until the rule-bending, foot-dragging and frustration starts up again.
Does this sound remotely familiar?
How One Boss Ended a Trust Breaking Pattern of Extremes
Jamie saw that her boss’s unrelenting focus on the bottom line led to staff burnout and disengagement because they felt like replaceable cogs in a machine. Jamie’s antidote was to compensate by doing everything she could to be the opposite, to be the nice boss.
But she was the too nice boss.
She had a perpetually open door.
She bought lunch for the office.
She corrected people’s work for them.
She approved multiple requests for flex-time.
She looked the other way when deadlines were missed.
Sooner or later, Jamie would begin to feel taken advantage of, and when she switched gears and tried to enforce the rules, her staff ignored her and refused to do what she asked. She was left with disappointment and a nagging worry that her staff would quit because they didn’t like her.
At a breaking point Jamie contacted me and we began working together.
Using Best-of-Self Traits to Nix Problematic Patterns & Build an Accountable, Respectful Team
Jamie and I discovered that two of her best-of-self traits, kindness and love of learning, were the keys to creating a new approach to her leadership. By viewing these as strengths that need to be strategically used they ceased to be liabilities in the workplace.
Now Jamie uses her innate kindness constructively.
She holds staff members accountable for deadlines.
She points out when the quality of their work needs improvement.
She takes time to guide staff members as they learn new skills.
She gives recognition to people’s best efforts when she meets with them.
Jamie is building up the reserves of trust in her staff – and they in her.
Trust Is a Verb Requiring Commitment and Action
To keep her momentum moving forward, every day at the close of business, Jamie asks, “What I am learning about how I am leading now? How can I use this tomorrow?”
Here’s what Jamie says about her new approach: “I now understand how my strengths interrelate and I found a way to use my two key strengths. Creating opportunities for my staff to be accountable shows I believe in and value them, and that makes things better for everyone.” Jamie C.