Responsibility without authority. Too much work and not enough time. The feeling that nothing you do is right. An environment of ongoing criticism. These are just a few of the factors that create burnout in the workplace. Any one of them can cause weariness, but when people suffer from two or more, institutional malaise can creep in.
Surprising as it may seem, some leaders choose to ignore these danger signals. They are so focused on their own agenda that they overlook what’s happening in the trenches. They put down their staff. They are quick to criticize. They strut their titles. They are the hero of every corporate success.
These behavior traits are the antithesis of emotional intelligence. Left unabated, an organizational crisis can occur.
Don’t waste your time evaluating why these leaders act this way. If you’re part of a management team that works with such a leader, however, you need to take action and counteract his or her behavior before your best people leave.
Top performers will reach a tipping point beyond which they will exit and not look back. Average performers will become more timid largely because they’ve been infused with fear, and eventually the quality of their work will deteriorate.
The antidote is for you to bolster your emotional intelligence. Strengthen yourself, then you can help your staff. Do a little self-check to see if your own emotional intelligence has eroded. Have you unknowingly absorbed the leader’s negativity and is it now seeping into your staff? Has your ability to manage your emotions deteriorated? Has your intrinsic motivation faltered?
Your own self-awareness will give you the insight to reverse course and get back on track. As you strengthen your resolve and bring your own “voice of reason” to the work environment, it’s easier to show empathy to your team.
This is not easy. It takes discipline and energy, because after all, you need to buttress against this leader’s behavior, too. But by making the effort, you have a reasonable chance to protect your employees and help to reverse the malaise. And, it will strengthen how you lead in ways that may surprise you.
Have a great day!