5 Reasons Your Employees Probably Hate You

employees, boss, leadership, relationship, retention


Many years ago I worked for a company whose CEO was a stickler for how many hours employees worked. He made a point to note who came early and who stayed late. He considered anyone who didn’t a slacker.

As far as I know, nobody ever told him how shortsighted his approach was. Instead of rewarding results, he rewarded butt-in-chair time. Instead of focusing on output, he focused on input. Most hated the practice, but nobody told him.

How many of your behaviors drive your employees silently crazy that you don’t know about? Here are five leadership missteps to look out for:

1. You reward the wrong things. 
What gets rewarded gets done. It is such a familiar axiom of management that it is nearly cliché. It is, however, completely true. Where you focus your attention focuses your employees’ attention. What you notice, note and reward will get done more frequently.

Identify and focus on the results that matter. And don’t be like the executive above who confused activity with accomplishment.

2. You don’t listen. 
Even if your employees told you about a qualm of theirs, you might not really hear them. It is too easy to be distracted and pre-occupied.

Becoming a better listener is actually quite easy. When an employee is in your workspace to talk, turn off your email alerts, close your door and let your monitor go into sleep mode. Give your undivided attention to the person in front of you. They will feel you value them, and you’ll likely increase the quality and speed of the interaction.

3. You don’t notice what your employees are doing.
Brittney was a financial manager at a client firm. She was bubbly and outgoing. She also had the ability to draw attention to her “contributions,” though many weren’t that significant. Employees hated her self-aggrandizement. But they also disliked that management noted Brittney’s efforts because they were easily observed. Leaders didn’t pay attention to the good and often better work others were doing.

Great work is often done backstage, out of the spotlight. The glitter of self-promotion doesn’t blind great entrepreneurs. They seek out those people doing good work and make it a point to notice. Pay attention to people who do good work and let them know. And don’t get suckered by people who are better at promoting themselves than producing results.

4. Your attitude sucks. 

Bill is an entrepreneur who constantly complains about how terrible his employees are at delivering customer service. He berates and belittles even their best efforts. And yet he’s puzzled why those same employees treat customers poorly. The irony escapes him.

Attitudes are contagious. Mirror neurons pick up on and are affected by the moods of those around us. Leaders are especially powerful in influencing the mood of those on their team.

Don’t expect others to be more upbeat than you or treat customers better than you treat them. There are a few entrepreneurs who might have dodged this bullet, but not enough to be statistically significant. Your attitude is contagious, so pay attention to how you act at work each day.

5. You can’t keep your mouth shut. 
A young entrepreneur we will call Bob loved to share insider information about others. At one after-work beer session, he shared something HR told him confidentially about a coworker who was not at the gathering. It was less than flattering and was instantly off-putting to those in the group. The employee, a valued and productive member of the team, learned of the betrayal of confidence and was outraged. She left the company soon after.

Don’t think that trust can be effectively compartmentalized. If you’re known to be untrustworthy in your personal life, few will trust you in your professional dealings. If people don’t trust you, they will follow, but out of compliance instead of commitment.

No one is a mind-reader. If you want to find out why your team is dissatisfied to be a better leader, work on building trust and being equally open to both good and bad news. Ask them what they really think. And most importantly: listen.                 -Mark Sanborn

Top 10 Ways to Profoundly Affect Others…you know you want to

top10, Law of Attraction, affecting othersTHE TOP 10 WAYS to PROFOUNDLY AFFECT OTHERS

We all affect others anyway. Why not affect them profoundly? Here are 10 proven ways to do this, all of which will make you a lot more attractive to others and to yourself.

1. Listen for and point out the special gifts, traits or talents of the other person.

Most people are listening for what they need from the other person. When you’re listening for what’s special or unique about a person — and point it out — you’ll very much affect them positively, with very, very little effort on your part. What if you did this during every conversation you had for the rest of your life? Hmm, sounds pretty attractive to me.

2. Listen and respond-in-kind to the underlying emotion of the other person.

Facts and information are valuable, but are rarely profound. What is profound is people, emotions and concepts. Next time you’re listening to your child, client or friend, feel what they are feeling and respond in kind to that, instead of just to what they are saying. Feelings are the fastest way to the person’s heart.

3. Deliver nuggets/messages that can be remembered and retransmitted.

There is something called memes, which are basically the idea-equivalent of genes. Read Richard Brodie’s book “Virus of the Mind” for the complete story. But the idea is that when you can package information, concepts or truth into nugget-sized packages, they don’t only land easily on the person you’re talking to, but that person can pass them on to others easily, like a virus. Virus, get it? The biggest thing in life right now is the competition between memes and genes. (By the way, memes will win because they can mutate and retransmit millions of times faster than genes can.) So, become mimetically attractive. In other words, have simple, worthwhile, intriguing things to say. It’s as simple as that.

4. Have you accepted and endorsed your worst weaknesses that others feel safe around you. A lot of attraction works without you having to ‘work it.’ It happens by itself, behind the scenes. And one of the ways to profoundly affect others is to be so ‘over yourself’ that they, too, can get over themselves. We’re all gripped by eye-popping fears and compelling desires, but when you’ve reached that place in life where you aren’t affected by any of this stuff — because you’ve fully accepted your humanness, faults AND talents, then others can have the same experience of themselves. It’s magical. And profoundly attractive.

5. Open up new worlds for people, in their thinking, feeling or priorities.

In other words, pull the rug out from folks whenever you can, but quickly give them a new chair to plop into on their way down. You can draw a missing distinction, question an antiquated assumption, challenge a strongly-held belief, plant a seed of a different crop, ask a strong inquiry-type question or give them words to express what they are barely able to sense. Okay, so that’s a lot to learn if the above communication skills are new to you. But, boy are they fun!

6. Show others how to experience better what they already have.

The point of unhooking yourself from the future and focusing more on today is made elsewhere in one of the Attraction Principles. But that principle is the parent of this one — to show others how to better use and make more of what they already have, whether it be a problem or a gift. Most folks are so future oriented that they miss out on the opportunities staring right at them in the present. Be their eyes and ears for a minute and help them see the value of what’s already all around them.

7. Remind people who they are instead of just complimenting them on what they’ve done.

Praise and acknowledgment is nice, but that’s a bit like telling your dog that his tail wags really well. Huh? The idea here is to focus on the person behind the accomplishment or problem. It’s the fundamental distinction of who vs. what. When you help the person get more in touch with the who (they are), they’ll produce better whats. If you focus primarily on the whats, you’ll soon be expecting the tail to wag the dog.

8. Give people something meaningful to do.

I don’t understand why, but most people are pretty bored. They are waiting for something interesting and meaningful to do. It seems that most people are being drugged by television, thus live in a sort of an excited stupor, if that’s possible. So, if you’re someone who is up to something and are willing to include people in on your game or project, most people will get meaning from that — from being asked to play, but also by the game itself and the people they meet along the way. If you’re working on a project, OPEN IT UP and profoundly affect a lot of other people. It’s a perfect path to attraction.

9. Give people the tools they need to improve and evolve.

The beginning of my evolving to computers happened in 1987 when the MIS director where I worked said he had an extra copy of Lotus 1-2-3 and asked if I wanted it. I barely knew that I should want it, but I faked a resounding ‘Sure!’ That single event changed my life forever and it took him about 10 seconds. He offered me a tool that, for some reason, he felt would help me. And it opened up a new world for me even though I no longer use Lotus 1-2-3, or even a spreadsheet! What tools do you currently have available to you that would profoundly affect others? Share all them.

10. Don’t try to profoundly affect others.

Okay, I had to toss this one in here. The idea is that the objective here is not to profoundly affect others. Because that’ll get you into trouble, especially when they don’t want to be profoundly affected. “Get away from me!” they’ll shriek. You get the picture. However, what you can do is to care for others and share the above stuff with those who want it. That way, ‘profoundly affecting’ others won’t become your cause, banner or reason for living. That would be pretty unattractive.

Are you a tour guide-style or a travel agent-style leader?

Tour Guide, Behavior, Business, Chief Executive Officers, Leadership and tagged behavior, Business, CEO, Chief Executive Officers, Leadership, Tour guide, Travel, Travel agency.



Are you a tour guide-style or a travel agent-style leader?

In the early years of my career, I used to think that leaders distinguished themselves by rising above their people, so that was my goal. It was the cream of the crop theory. That was a mistake. What I’ve learned – and what has made a complete difference for me – is that leaders distinguish themselves by rising with their people, not above them.

Great leaders take people with them on the journey. They don’t go by themselves. If you’re going along all by yourself, you are not a leader. You might be a self-made, successful person, but you’re not a leader. You might even have recognition as a leader, but you are not truly leading people like you could be. To be a leader, you have to make a decision: Are you going to be a tour guide or a travel agent? Let me explain.

Travel agents can give you brochures and tell you about the trip, while having never even been to that destination. They get the tickets for you and send you off somewhere. You don’t want to lead like a travel agent. Instead, you want to be a tour guide. You want to take people to a place you know well and have spent time in.

You want to bring your people along with you and say, “Let me show you something. I’m going to take you places where I’ve been and lived. I want to tell you all about them as we go.”

What is the downside for the leader who tries to rise above his or her people? Leaders who feel that they should be separated from others and who mistakenly feel that leaders should rise above their people, have a number of detrimental things that can happen to them.

Here are just a few of the things that I have experienced:

  • I was lonely.

We’ve all heard that it is lonely at the top, haven’t we? Well, I was at the top, and yes, I was lonely. (By the way, I know now that it wasn’t a leader who came up with that saying. Think about it. If you’re at the top and you’re all alone, then nobody’s following you.) I realized I was successful; I just wasn’t a successful leader.

If I were you, I’d get off the mountain and go find the people. As soon as I did that, I began to open up a whole new realm of relationships and leadership that I had never experienced.

  • I seldom asked for help.

The reason I seldom asked for help is because I thought it was a sign of weakness. I thought that I had to be Mr. Answer Man. Why would a leader ask somebody for help? After all, that would make the leader kind of like the people, and after a while, you could be a commoner if you weren’t careful.

But reality set in and I quickly discovered that sooner or later, everyone needs help, and admitting it does not make you less of a leader. In fact, it helped me become a better leader because it bridged a gap between myself and those who followed me.

  • I was very position conscious.

As a young leader, I was always making sure that I had my title, my position and my rights. Let me tell you, leaders come from all walks of life, and they often lead people without the benefit of a position or a title. They do it by building influence with others. People who are focused on their position are too wrapped up in rights and responsibilities to influence anyone. They are too busy protecting themselves instead of spending their time influencing others.

  • I was very competitive.

I became very competitive during my initial leadership development process, because t I was always trying to beat someone else. People are not apt to follow you if your goal is to defeat them and make a loser out of them. Leaders encourage people and make them feel like winners. As soon as I learned that I was working with the people around me, rather than working against them, I began to influence them in ways I hadn’t before. They began to see me as their leader rather than a competitor.

Remember, the most successful people realize that they can only make it as a team. They can’t do it if all they seek it recognition and titles for themselves. They can’t do it if they are competing against those who can help them the most.

Make a commitment to rise with your people, to take them along on your journey, and you will see them follow you in ways you have not seen before.

                                                          John Maxwell, is the author of “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.”