Home > Leadership, The Monday Musings Column > on demotivating people

on demotivating people

We all have obsessions and those of us who lead teams may have a few for we are driven people. We like to refer to these foibles as being focussed, having a clear vision or something of that kind, but behind whatever management speak we wrap it up in we are still obsessed.

This is not necessarily a bad thing as long as we can recognise our obsessions for what they are and can manage them to achieve positive results, but to do that we need to bring our team with us. It is important that they understand what is important to us and the standards that we want them to work to, but how we get that across needs careful application.

It is too easy to allow our obsessions to become irritants where we focus on them to the extent that both we and our team start to lose focus on everything else. If you recognise this sort of behaviour in someone you have worked for you know how bad it gets, how you dread them arriving anywhere near you and how you find yourself diverting resources to focus on the subject of their obsession to the detriment of your main objective.

It creates stress in the workplace that spreads through the whole team including the person causing the stress, so how do you cope with it?

If you are the one with the obsession then the sooner you can get yourself under control the better. Recognise that you are damaging your own reputation and effectiveness and give your team a bit of space. Acknowledge the good stuff that they are doing and back away from your obsession because once you let it go you will usually find that your team will fix the problem; they’ll know that it is important and will address it in their own way. It’s a bit like being a parent in that the harder you try and get your children to do something the more they will resist.

If you’re the one having to deal with the obsessions of your boss and they will not back off you need to try and create some separation between the boss and your team. Try and get the problem fixed without making it a big issue. One option is to distract them by focussing their attention on something else and another is to focus resource on the problem when it suits you rather than waiting for the boss to spot it.

You can also try confrontation. Not an easy option and one that takes courage, but taking the boss aside and trying to work out a solution can work. If it doesn’t then that is a classic sign that you have a boss who lacks leadership skills and you probably have deeper issues.

Someone has to own the problem and if your boss can’t step up to the plate then you need to do it because if you allow your team to become demotivated then you are really in trouble. Don’t allow whatever your boss is obsessed about to consume you. Keep your eyes firmly on motivating your team to do what they need to achieve and things will work out in the end. It may be a rough ride, but that’s life.

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: