THREE TIPS FOR DEALING WITH BAD LEADERSHIP
History demonstrates that people will leave a job because of bad leadership. It’s a problem that impacts company performance, morale and employee engagement.
As a culture coach and facilitator specializing in accountability, I’ve had the unique perspective of working with business leaders, individuals and teams, helping them get the results they want and need to achieve.
Leaders solicit our guidance to help the problem team, and it is common to hear individual employees point to the leader as the one with all the problems. In almost every case, both have some culpability in the ineffective relationship in place. At the same time, most of us have experience working for a boss who could use a lot of help. We’ve all had to work for the leader who downright lacks finesse and tact at times.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, here are a few tips to make the job more bearable:
Focus on what you can control, not those things that are outside of your control. It’s very typical that when we have a bad boss, we point out all of the elements of the boss, job and company that are really difficult to deal with. We complain and are easily tempted to find others willing to hear our plight and continue the drama.
When this happens, you are actually adding to the problem. This will not get you any closer to having a better boss or work environment. Focus on what you can control. What can you do to make the project, meeting or job better? I have been asked this question many times: How can I change my negative leader? The problem is (insert the bad leader’s name here).
Own your part in the situation. How are you adding to the problem and what do you see as some potential solutions? When we see the problem as being outside of ourselves, we will never be able to see the solutions. In other words, if we feel stuck dwelling on the problem, person or situation, it’s hard to simultaneously feel empowered to find a solution and make your current environment better.
Focus On Results
Keep your eye on the ball and concentrate on what you need to accomplish: delivering results. You will be of tremendous value to the organization if you continue to deliver high-quality work. Stay focused on what you can deliver to impact the bottom line. How does your role contribute to the success of the organization? When we keep this as our focus, we add value and stand out.
Ask For Feedback
I know this sounds counterintuitive, but when we reach out one-on-one and engage the leader in a healthy round of feedback (without getting defensive) we can disarm and start building a bridge to a healthier relationship. Ask the leader in question what you do well and what you could do even better. Stay positive, and if the conversation goes south, request some time to digest the content and leave so as to not react negatively. Engaging in an honest dialogue is a step to finding common ground in an undesirable relationship or setting.
Ultimately, you may need to make that tough choice on whether to stay in that job or not. Perhaps you can solve the problem by taking the initiative to be transferred to another department. The bottom line is if you choose to stay, make the best of it instead of complaining, which is an energy drain on you and those you complain to. Your quality of life is dependent on your attitude and how you react in the tough times.