When things aren’t going to plan, it’s a common, knee-jerk reaction to first point blame somewhere else. It can’t possibly be our own fault, right?
Monica Wofford wrote an interesting post about inconsistent leadership which requires us as leaders, to look within when employers are underperforming.
It’s an interesting concept, because the first reaction is to blame the underperforming employee, of course, and to think about termination or relocation to a different department.
Did you ever stop to think it could be your own fault?
According to Wofford, an inconsistent leader is hot and cold; good mood, bad mood; approachable, frightening; empathetic, ruthless.
Think of it from your team’s perspective and you can start to see why it would affect performance.
The Cost of Inconsistent Leadership
- They stop trusting you. The hot and cold approach makes employees afraid to approach you. You might have an open door policy in theory, but if you blow up or lose your patience every now and then, your team will stop coming by to talk. Why should they?
- You lose authority. We all lose our tempers, but as leaders, it’s critical to reign that in and not allow it to happen. Don’t act on anger. If you have to, give it time before you handle the situation. If it involves one employee and not the entire team, deal with it privately and discreetly. If you don’t, and you lose your cool on a regular basis, your team will start to ignore you.
- They stop being honest with you. You’re employees will just nod and agree to “keep you from acting scary.” It’s much easier to empathize with you to your face and avoid conflict. You’ll never have a true sense of what is happening in your work environment.
- Team morale will plummet. This pretty much goes without saying. Now your employees are going to gather around and talk about you. They need to get it off their chest so of course they will. Productivity goes down and now you have a team complaining to each other, making matters worse.
- They all are difficult. The biggest symptom is when you feel the entire team is being a challenge. If this is the case, it’s more than likely it’s you and not them.
Awareness is the first step in dealing with inconsistent leadership. See the problem and tackle each one of these one by one. Practice mindfulness and keeping your mood steady.
Remember your mood affects everyone. You don’t have the luxury in indulging in mood swings. And talk to your staff. If you find you need to make changes, approach it together. You’re not alone. Everyone wants to like everyone they work with.
Don’t you agree?