Is your collaboration with your team and your boss challenging? Maybe you’re missing something there…
G. is a manager in a multinational company. Our first meeting started with him complaining about his team and his boss. His direct reports didn’t seem to care enough about their work. “I have to constantly check on them and follow up on everything I assign to them. They don’t take initiatives; they only care to do what’s necessary and never go above the point that will make a difference. I am tired of this situation,” he told me.
On the other hand, it was his manager. A man who only knew how to speak and not listen at all. He never gave him the opportunity to express his own thoughts, opinions or ideas. And if at some point he did, it ended in a negative reaction from his manager. He would get angry, he would get negative about what he heard and sometimes would be sarcastic towards him. He may have been a role model to him for what he had accomplished, but his behavior was unbearable.
All this behavior and lack of support had discouraged him. He had lost the fun and motivation for his job. The only thing that kept him productive was the sense of responsibility he had towards himself and maintaining the prestige of the right professional he strived so hard to build. However, that was not enough for him. He wanted to change the situation. To regain his passion, to motivate his team and to manage to pass through some ideas for implementation to his manager, which would finally help him take his career to the next level.
I agreed to help him succeed. I started by conducting interviews with his direct reports. To his surprise, the feedback I received sounded exactly like the words he told me about his own manager. His behavior discouraged them and they had lost the joy of working. That’s why they stopped taking initiatives or making suggestions. His manager, on the other hand, told me that, every time, we would have all the good intention to discuss an issue, but from the beginning he would start saying something, G. would be negative, showing his opposition vividly and being reluctance to listen. And he may not do that in words, but his body language and expressions clearly stated that. As a result, he would also lose his temper and without realizing it, he would move into a more aggressive behavior towards him. “Every time, I feel” he told me, “as if we are rivals in a ring and not in the same team, pursuing of the same goals.”
It was time for G. to make his choice. He could take responsibility for his own behavior and change those points that kept creating problems in his relationship with his team and his manager and were sabotaging the results he wanted to see. On the other hand, he could keep blaming others and continue to experience the same results, without seeing any positive change. You see, recognizing that the behavior of others is sometimes a reflection of one’s own behavior and deciding to change, is not easy. It goes against his selfishness, his need to feel that he is right and the others are wrong. He has to deconstruct all this inside him, to work hard to change his reactions to what triggers him. To fight with his habits and impulsivity. Change is not for the faint-hearted; It takes courage! On the other hand, one who’s not willing to work for a change should not expect it to happen on its own. You cannot have expectations for something that you didn’t put any effort.
G. decided to choose the first path. We worked together and he succeeded. The results were spectacular. “I never thought it would depend that much on me to make all these changes for the better!” He told me at the end of our collaboration.
Never underestimate the power of your contribution in a situation that you want to change. You are much more involved in that, than what you believe you are. Or, than you want to believe you are.