“No Man Should Be In A Management Position Who Wants to Look Smart at Expense of others.” – Peter Drucker
Toxic culture is not very unusual in the corporate world.
From backstabbing and brash bosses to manipulating coworkers trying to sabotage your work, sometimes office politics may be exhausting. Most of the time, employees try to avoid the game revolving around the power and relationships within the work environment. But, sometimes they get trapped in this sticky and tricky web. Besides the fact that employees have to groom themselves to maneuver in such a work environment for long-term survival, it is their leader’s duty, to train employees on how to deal with it.
You Can Never Escape, It Is Everywhere
An employee made a detailed report on a flagship brand. She received initial praise from her boss. The day arrived to exhibit her report to the entire team including her super boss. She was so confident about her work and prepared to leave a fantastic impression.
As the meeting progressed in the board room, she smelled politics. Her boss started to pick up flaws in the approach and flaunted his analytical ability to please his own boss. His tone was strikingly different. The toxic environment inside the room made that employee feel embarrassed. “It’s not fair”, she muttered.
This story is not surprising at workplaces. Politics are everywhere, degrees vary. A few insecure staff lacking vision and faith spread fear psychosis. This leads to employees becoming reluctant to owning an assignment or even propose a better approach.
Why Lose Peace Of Mind
“Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.” – Jonathan Lockwood Huie
Since politics and hidden agendas are everywhere, it is a leader’s responsibility to coach employees to be least affected by it. Emails and announcements in townhall meetings cannot create a change. Like how a father would teach the child how to cross a road safely, when a leader handholds the team to steer through politics and, avoid burnout, the team desires to stay connected with the leader for life.
Coach them how service-mindset can help them win over opponents.
“Valuable things owned by powerful people in history are untraceable. Even Slippers used by Mahatma Gandhi are considered sacred”
Father Of Your Team
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If employees stand on the verge of losing their peace of mind and motivation because of a bunch of brash people, direct them to take inspiration from the great leaders like Walt Disney, Mahatma Gandhi. I encourage my teams to connect with legendary leaders like Kiran Bedi, Mary Kom, Ron Kaufman, Vineet Nayar on social media and get their daily positivity vaccine by watching what they do.
Help Employees To Release Their Emotional Baggage
Helping teams is one of the key traits of an effective leader. Walt Disney, the father of cartoon and animation, is well known for his unique leadership qualities, too. He created a homelike office environment, a source of uninterrupted pleasure and motivation. He used to offer employees exquisite Sunday barbeques, playing games, swimming at his house.
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When a leader allows this personal space, is there a need to define KPIs and demand excellence?
Leaders have to temporarily take control of the situation, protect the employees under their wings, analyzing their vulnerability and groom them to counter an undesirable situation head-on with a win-win approach.
Teach Employees How To Respond
“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.”
– Viktor Frankl
You are smart, objective, and honest. But, in a raging situation, if you expect that the person in front of you would behave like you, it is an impractical and unrealistic expectation. Train your employees on staying calm in a frustrating situation, and how to build trust with someone troubling them. Just like a kid returns home with the homework burden, an employee also returns home with day-long emotional baggage. Help them to learn how to deal with such emotional turmoil, avoiding unpleasant behavior, or accusation from others.
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