Coaching Talented Leaders Who Rub People the Wrong Way
When co-workers or employers perceive someone with leadership authority to have a chronic pattern of abrasive behavior–the cost to individual and organizational well-being can be dramatic.
- Employee turnover
- Diminished morale
- Chronic stress
- Loss of innovative capacity
- Reputational impact on employer
An internet search on “bullying at work” brings up 180,000,000 results–and “toxic leadership” 99,600,000 results. Yikes. Contrary to popular myth, not all leaders who show up as abrasive are evil, social deviants, or pathologically effected. Some are very talented, committed, and results-driven people who see achieving goals as their most important work. A mindset that can block awareness or regard for the negative impact they are having on others and their own long-term success.
While absolutely not an excuse–behaving abrasively might also reflect a belief system shaped by life experience, education, or training that did not value or emphasize self-awareness. Timing and context can be at play, too–feeling pressure “from above,” or from external stakeholders to produce a result, may have a leader abandon positive relational practices to get the job done.
Contributing further to the problem, a lot of leaders and employers find it easier to hire and hold people to account for performance and are far less comfortable addressing conduct issues or hiring for positive relational capacities. Clearly, it’s a complex issue. Doing nothing to address it resigns us to a default future that is clearly costly.
Common Behavioral Complaints
Waking leaders up to how they’re showing up
If you work with a leader who is valued for the results they achieve, but whose interpersonal behavior causes emotional stress in co-workers sufficient to disrupt organizational functioning, then coaching can help.
I have specialized training and experience in working with highly competent leaders whose abrasive behaviors are negatively impacting co-worker relationships and a constructive culture.
Within 8-10 sessions, the process of coaching leaders with abrasive behaviors can produce rapid results.
Linda is Accredited through the Boss Whispering Institute™.
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