EVALUATION & Researchers List Top 10 “Bad Boss” Behaviors #TransformationalLeadership

Commentary by Prof. B: I encourage my students to do yearly 360° reviews of their leadership. This includes asking direct reports to anonymously evaluate them on a Likert scale and track changes. But what questions should be asked? The following study yields 10 suitable questions you should include to ascertain if you have “bad boss” behavior.

How Can You Tell Someone Has Horrible Leadership Skills? This New Study Just Revealed the Top 10 ‘Bad Boss’ Behaviors
by Marcel Schwantes, Inc. Magazine, 9/9/17.

So what’s your bad bosshorror story? You know you have one. Bad boss behaviors that lead to horrific employee disengagement and turnover are rampant, and study upon study has confirmed this epidemic. The most recent example is via an employee survey conducted by BambooHR.

They asked more than 1,000 US-based employees to rate 24 ‘typical boss behaviors’ from ‘totally acceptable’ to ‘totally unacceptable. Can you guess the worst behavior a boss can have in the workplace?

…Here’s a summary of the findings from the survey, which you can compare with the boss that currently bullies you or steals your thunder.

Bad Boss Behavior | Percentage who call it unacceptable or a deal breaker

Your boss takes credit for your work 63%
Your boss doesn’t trust or empower you 62
Your boss doesn’t care if you’re overworked 58
Your boss doesn’t advocate for you when it comes to compensation 57
Your boss hires and/or promotes the wrong people 56
Your boss doesn’t back you up when there’s a dispute 55
Your boss doesn’t provide proper direction on assignments/roles 54
Your boss micromanages and doesn’t allow you “freedom to work” 53
Your boss focuses more on your weaknesses than strengths 53
Your boss doesn’t set clear expectations 52

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/marcel-schwantes/a-new-survey-finds-that-63-percent-of-employees-ab.html

LEAD 545 LEAD 600 DMIN LEAD 716

CONFLICT & When you disagree with a superior, how do you decide whether it’s worth speaking up

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: In almost 30 years of consulting experience, I have found no weakness more prevalent in pastoral leadership than the inability to discuss conflict. This article discusses research-based tools to gracefully but effectively disagree with someone who is more powerful than you.

How to Disagree with Someone More Powerful than You
by Amy Gallo, Harvard Business Review, 6/17/16.

…It’s a natural human reaction to shy away from disagreeing with a superior. “Our bodies specialize in survival, so we have a natural bias to avoid situations that might harm us,” says Joseph Grenny, the coauthor of Crucial Conversations and the cofounder of VitalSmarts, a corporate training company. “The heart of the anxiety is that there will be negative implications,” adds Holly Weeks, the author of Failure to Communicate. We immediately think, “He’s not going to like me,” “She’s going to think I’m a pain,” or maybe even “I’ll get fired.” Although “it’s just plain easier to agree,” Weeks says that’s not always the right thing to do. Here’s how to disagree with someone more powerful than you.

Be realistic about the risks

Most people tend to overplay the risks involved in speaking up. “Our natural bias is to start by imagining all the things that will go horribly wrong,” Grenny says. Yes, your counterpart might be surprised and a little upset at first. But chances are you’re not going to get fired or make a lifelong enemy…

Decide whether to wait

After this risk assessment, you may decide it’s best to hold off on voicing your opinion. Maybe “you haven’t finished thinking the problem through, the whole discussion was a surprise to you, or you want to get a clearer sense of what the group thinks,” says Weeks… “It’s also a good idea to delay the conversation if you’re in a meeting or other public space. Discussing the issue in private will make the powerful person feel less threatened.

Identify a shared goal

Before you share your thoughts, think about what the powerful person cares about … You’re more likely to be heard if you can connect your disagreement to a “higher purpose.” When you do speak up, don’t assume the link will be clear. You’ll want to state it overtly, contextualizing your statements so that you’re seen not as a disagreeable underling but as a colleague who’s trying to advance a shared goal…

Ask permission to disagree

This step may sound overly deferential, but, according to Grenny, it’s a smart way to give the powerful person “psychological safety” and control. You can say something like, “I know we seem to be moving toward a first-quarter commitment here. I have reasons to think that won’t work. I’d like to lay out my reasoning. Would that be OK?” This gives the person a choice, “allowing them to verbally opt in,” says Grenny. And, assuming they say yes, it will make you feel more confident about voicing your disagreement.

Stay calm

You might feel your heart racing or your face turning red, but do whatever you can to remain neutral in both your words and actions…

Validate the original point

After you’ve gotten permission, articulate the other person’s point of view. What is the idea, opinion, or proposal that you’re disagreeing with? Stating that clearly, possibly even better than your counterpart did, lays a strong foundation for the discussion. “You want your counterpart to say, ‘She understands.’ You don’t want to get in a fight about whether you get her point,” Weeks explains.

Don’t make judgments

When you move on to expressing your concerns, watch your language carefully. Grenny says to avoid any “judgment words” such as “short-sighted,” “foolish,” or “hasty” that might set off your counterpart; one of his tips is to cut out all adjectives, since “they have the potential to be misinterpreted or taken personally.” Share only facts…

Stay humble

Emphasize that you’re offering your opinion, not “gospel truth,” says Grenny. “It may be a well-informed, well-researched opinion, but it’s still an opinion, [so] talk tentatively and slightly understate your confidence…”

Acknowledge their authority

Ultimately, the person in power is probably going to make the final decision, so acknowledge that. You might say, “I know you’ll make the call here. This is up to you.” That will not only show that you know your place but also remind them that they have choices, Grenny says. Don’t backtrack on your opinion or give false praise, though. “You want to show respect to the person while maintaining your own self-respect,” says Weeks.

Read more at … https://hbr.org/2016/03/how-to-disagree-with-someone-more-powerful-than-you?utm_campaign=harvardbiz&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social

CONFLICT & How to disagree with your boss without getting fired.

USA Today, March 4, 2016.

1. CAREFULLY CONSIDER THE TIME AND PLACE

… Are you in a team meeting where everyone is sharing suggestions and ideas with your manager? That could be a perfect opportunity to speak up, without it seeming aggressive, condescending, or accusatory. Would your boss feel embarrassed or ganged up on if you voiced your opinion in a large group setting? Then you’re better off setting up a separate, one-on-one meeting to talk it out…

2. START POSITIVE

… This is exactly why it’s important to start off your opposition by clearly pointing out something positive. Perhaps it’s a portion of the idea that you really liked or a piece of the process that’s already working quite well…

3. ASK QUESTIONS

Your manager is the one in charge—so he or she likely won’t respond too well if you act like you’re the one who should be doling out criticisms and instructions. How do you get around this? Asking questions of your boss is a great way to make it clear that you’re aiming to foster a collaborative discussion, rather than storming in and firing off demands.

For example, you could say something like, “I really like your idea of holding weekly team meetings for everyone to get on the same page. However, I think having these on Wednesdays instead of Mondays would be better. What do you think?”

This explicitly invites your supervisor to share his or her thoughts or feelings with you, too—meaning the conversation isn’t aggressive or one-sided…

4. FOCUS ON RESULTS

…So, if you can adequately outline the positive results of your opinion or idea, you’re one step closer to getting your supervisor on your side. Let’s use our team meeting example from above to really drive the point home. We’ll use those exact same sentences, but just add a little something to it.

“I really like your idea of holding weekly team meetings for everyone to get on the same page. However, I think having these on Wednesdays instead of Mondays would be better, as it gives everyone a chance to get caught up from the weekend—meaning our meeting will be that much more productive. What do you think?”

See how much more powerful that is? It illustrates that you’re simply trying to suggest a positive change for your office and co-workers—not attack your boss’ authority and intelligence.

5. RESPECT THE FINAL DECISION

In the end, your boss has the final say. If he or she considers your opinion, only to rule against it and carry on with the plan you disagreed with? Well, you need to respect that…

Read more at … http://college.usatoday.com/2016/03/04/how-to-disagree-with-your-boss-without-getting-fired/

LEADERSHIP & 6 Things Real Leaders Don’t Do (Like Boss People Around) #ForbesMagazine

by Lynn Ryan, Forbes Magazine, 10/8/15.

People get hired or promoted into leadership roles every day. Sadly, when they get the job they may get little or no training on how to lead a team…

No one tells them “The trick to leadership is to have people want to do a good job — not to please you, but for themselves!” The greatest power source on earth is a team of people who are energized around a common goal…

Real Leaders Don’t Boss People Around

What kinds of obstacles could slow people down and frustrate them? Bureaucratic processes are a big problem in many if not most organizations.

A good manager is willing to take on stupid processes and get rid of them, or soften them or figure out a way to work around them so his or her team can keep winning…

Real Leaders Don’t Bark Out Orders

Real leaders don’t bark out orders. They may have a goal in mind, and when they do they’ll say “Jane, you’re the expert. If we can get that pricing model completed this month we’ll be able to launch it at the sales meeting next month.

“Does that sound like something we can do? What do you need from me to make it easy for you to reach that goal?”…

Real Leaders Don’t Second-Guess Their Team Members

…Often the reason that people pad the dates on their schedules is that they’ve learned through harsh experience that when they honestly say “I can have that done by Friday” a poor manager will say “Then get it to me by Wednesday.”

If you don’t trust your teammates, that means you don’t trust yourself to hire trustworthy people. That’s your problem, not theirs!

Real Leaders Don’t Blame Their Employees When Something Goes Wrong

… It is easy and tempting to diagnose an employee with all sorts of problems and to characterize him or her as lazy or careless, but you hired Jack. You trained him. Until you take responsibility for Jack’s difficulties, you’ll stay frustrated and you won’t learn a thing.

Real Leaders Don’t Bring the Hammer Down Right Away

Real leaders don’t turn to disciplinary measures at the first sign of trouble. They ask questions, thoughtfully and compassionately, instead. They look for gaps in an employee’s understanding of his or her job….

Read more at … http://www.forbes.com/sites/lizryan/2015/08/08/six-things-real-leaders-dont-do-like-boss-people-around/

MANAGEMENT & What to Do If Your Boss Is a Control Freak

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel:  “Having a boss that feels he/she is the expert and should approve or modify everything you do, can be frustrating (I know ;-).  But author Karen Dillon gives four helpful steps to working with a boss who she describes as a control freak.  The four tactics are:

  1. Manage your boss’s insecurities.  In other words, he (she) has worries too.  Try to see it from their perspective.
  2. Don’t fight it.  If you openly rebel, you lose influence.
  3. Scrutinize yourself.  Have you contributed to the problem?  What could you do differently?
  4. Look ahead. Focus on the future and things will usually start to improve.

Read the article (it begins below and continues with a link to the original Harvard Business Review article).”

What to Do If Your Boss Is a Control Freak

by Karen Dillon, Harvard Business Review, 12/23/14.

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…Despite what you may think, the root of his micromanaging is probably not that your boss is a jerk or that he feels threatened by you. Rather, his actions might be explained by factors that have little to do with you, such as a poor understanding of his role as manager, micromanaging bosses of his own, a lack of motivation to question how he’s always done things, or personal insecurity.

That said, it can be hard to cut your boss some slack when he isn’t cutting you any. His harping about every small misstep you take can feel overwhelmingly personal. The good news is that you don’t have to resign yourself to being nit-picked to death. You may not be able to change your boss, says Carol Walker, a principal at Prepared to Lead, a leadership development consulting firm. But you do have some control. “You have more power to improve the situation than you probably realize,’” Walker says. You aren’t likely to turn things around with one great conversation or one burst of high performance. But you can, little by little, own and direct a process that will enable your boss to start trusting you more and monitoring you less. Here’s how.

1. Manage his insecurity

Form an educated guess about where your boss’s sensitivities lie. If you believe, for example, that he’s intimidated by his boss, think of ways you can alleviate that pressure, such as running reports to better prepare him for meetings with his manager. Or perhaps he’s afraid that people don’t perceive him as essential, and he’s on a tear to prove how much you and others need him. Dispel his fears, advises Dorie Clark, author of Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future. Show him that you value his guidance. Bring him any news you hear, and take your ideas to him before sharing them with others. As your boss begins to trust that you’ll come to him without prompting, he may loosen his grip…

Read more at … https://hbr.org/2014/12/what-to-do-if-your-boss-is-a-control-freak