Saturday, July 9, 2011
This post from the Harvard Business Review pertains to managers but the advice is equally applicable to teachers who may be even more susceptible to the "people-pleaser" mentality. Substitute "student" for "employee," "school" for "work" and "teacher" for "management" and you get the idea.
It's amazing how much one troubled employee can undermine a department's productivity. A staff member who routinely makes cutting remarks, elevates him or herself at the expense of others, or spreads undermining gossip can sink a department's morale fast. Otherwise positive and productive team members begin to dread coming to work, and the group's best thinking gets siphoned off the company's mission as everyone scrambles to stay out of the bully's crosshairs.
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The question on the tip of everyone's tongue when this type of nightmare takes hold is, "Why doesn't senior management do something?" It's the job of the boss to enforce consequences when someone gets out of line. Emotionally exhausted peers often complain passionately and privately to their superiors in these situations. They fantasize that the troublemaker will be removed, put on probation, or at least given a firm reprimand. Unfortunately, in many such cases, justice seems to proceed at a glacial pace. What's the holdup?
When an office bully starts running wild, there are often two employees to blame. The easy one to spot is the one creating the emotional carnage. The less obvious, but equally culpable, individual is often the manager who fumbles the job of taking this employee to task promptly. The problem limiting this manager's potential is often embedded in his or her power style.
Many of the best leaders and managers in the business world operate from the Pleaser power style. Pleasers are hard-working, inspire loyalty, and tend to listen thoughtfully to their clients and colleagues. When they are operating from their strengths, Pleasers can become the glue that holds a positive corporate culture together. Unfortunately, when their blind spots kick in, Pleasers can be so fearful of losing approval that they don't confront challenges promptly and directly.
Find out how to gain control of the bully by clicking here.