This comment was made during a meeting with one of my clients. These leaders were frustrated by the actions of some of their junior employees and were venting about how to get them on track for stronger performance. When this comment was made, the tone of the meeting changed.
It’s surprising, but many leaders still believe in the command and control credo. If you bark loudly and authoritatively, your people will fall into line and do what you want.
This is a leadership style that has been phasing out in recent decades, but vestiges still linger. It may work well in the military, but it usually doesn’t have the same results in the workplace.
Authoritative and dictatorial leaders may accomplish things in the short-term, but it creates an environment of anxiety. Employees comply out of fear rather than their internal drive to perform their jobs well.
The idea that you can be nice and still get your message across may be a novelty to some, but it works. Employees feel less threatened, less pressured, less intimidated when their managers approach them with civility and empathy.
For the next week, do a check in and observe your leadership style. By applyig some self-awareness, you can identify where you’re effective and where you may need some improvement.
As you go through this exercise, remember that nice guys can still be in charge.
Have a great day and wonderful holiday weekend ahead!