Frustrations can happen even in the best teams and under the best leadership. Perspectives clash, a situation becomes tense, and people get annoyed or even angry. As leaders, we never want to be a source of frustration for our team or our colleagues—but it can happen.
If your team seems to be experiencing more than its share of frustration with you, it’s important as their leader, to do some self-reflection. Think about any ways your actions may be affecting those around you, maybe in ways you aren’t even aware of. Once you understand your frustrating behavior, you can begin taking steps to change it.
To begin, check yourself against this list of the most commonly frustrating leadership behaviors:
Not doing what you say you will do. We’ve all been on the wrong side of this situation: someone tells you they are going to do something but doesn’t deliver. Not keeping your word is a sure path to frustration, anger, mistrust and disrespect. Make sure that your word is your bond, and back up your promises with action.
Always wanting options without committing to a decision. People thrive on action and progress, and they quickly become frustrated when things slow down—or even grind to a halt—because of indecisive leadership. Learn to trust your judgment—which, after all, is grounded in your education and experience—to make sure you never become an obstacle because you can’t make up your mind.
Having to always be in the right. When you maintain an attitude that you know everything better than everyone else—when you have to be right by making others wrong—you stifle conversations, shut down ideas, and make people want to avoid discussing anything important with you. It’s especially demoralizing to your smartest people. Keep an open mind, and take other people’s thoughts and perspectives as seriously as you want them to take yours.
Blaming others for your mistakes. Leaders who refuse to be accountable or responsible for their own mistakes are truly frustrating. They damage teams in multiple ways, since people who are fearful of being blamed tend to stay in the background with timid, just-good-enough performance. For your team to excel, become the kind of leader who takes the blame and passes the credit along—not the other way around.
Looking out only for yourself. If you don’t have the interests of others foremost in your mind and heart, you aren’t really leading. The best leaders understand that their purpose is to serve the people they are called to lead. If you’re in it for yourself, you’re not only a source of frustration to those around you, but you’re also likely to be perceived by everyone around you as self-centered and untrustworthy.
Constant complaining. It can be extremely frustrating to work for someone who is always complaining. Things do go wrong, and everyone complains occasionally, but nonstop grumbling sucks all the energy and enthusiasm out of the group. As a leader, keep in mind that people emulate your actions and that your mood is contagious. It’s part of your job to keep morale and positivity high.
Even the best team in the world will be harmed by ongoing frustration—and if that frustration is coming from above, it’s even worse. If any of these frustrating actions remind you of yourself, help your team—and your own future—by changing your attitude.
Lead from within: As a leader, your actions should inspire others. If they don’t, you need to rethink how you are leading.
#1 N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
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- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
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Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.