“Too Sensitive Leader: Great Tip for Overcoming Being Too Sensitive”
Leadership requires a degree of sensitivity, but if you’re too sensitive, there will be problems, not only for you, but the people you lead.
While every leader needs empathy, if this stands in the way of the mission getting done, many negative repercussions result.
Consider for a minute the kinds of activities associated with leadership that a manager who carries empathy too far will not be able to do or to do well: * Give corrective feedback for someone who has a negative attitude * Quickly and fairly follow company procedures for disciplinary action * As necessary “coach someone out the door”
And these are just a few of the actions required and expected of in managerial positions.
While no one (or few people!) actually enjoys giving corrective feedback, think about the negative impact if substandard actions and attitudes are allowed to go unchecked: * Team members who are meeting or exceeding expectations begin to feel the manager is playing favorites by not address the problem employee * The rest of the team feels as though they have to work extra to make up for the person who is getting away with working less * As a result, morale suffers, and with it, the ability to get the mission accomplished quickly and well is compromised.
The manager who is too sensitive often feels justified in not taking action right away when an employee fails to work up to standards.
Such a manager might like to think that the behavior will correct itself, or she believes that this is not all that noticeable, and so there’s no need to call attention to it.
Most often the “too sensitive manager” really does care about people and doesn’t want to say anything to the employee who’s falling below standards because the manager doesn’t want to hurt their feelings or to cause them extra stress.
Additionally, the overly empathizing manager may see any corrective action as confrontation rather than influence, and so she does nothing.
Since leadership calls for people to be fair to all and to make sure the company’s best interests are being protected, it’s important to take an enlightened look at how the manager can reframe this potentially negative situation and turn it around so fairness prevails as the company’s interests are being protected.
In helping companies develop their leaders, I’m often asked to give extra coaching to managers who have tremendous potential, but who are having struggles with delivering tough news when necessary.
My goal as “The People Skills Lady” is to help others be “who they are, at their best.”
You don’t take a person who is sensitive and try to make them insensitive. That’s neither fair nor doable. People are who they are and it’s important, as long as the employee is the right fit, to allow the employee to develop their strengths.
The good news is, there is much hope for the manager who is too sensitive, or who empathizes too much.
The solution is to shift perspectives.
When a manager is protective of the employee with sub-par behavior, this manager needs to shift perspective to the company and remember that their primary loyalty is to be sensitive of the company’s needs
Also, it will serve the manager well to be empathetic with the remaining team members who are forced to work above and beyond what’s expected of them in order to cover for work left undone by the substandard job performance of the problem employee.
Too sensitive managers don’t need to become hardened, uncaring automatons. They simply need to shift their focus of empathy and sensitivity to the company and the team.