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Underhanded Actions Leaders Need Not Do

We have seen or heard about the passive aggressive blunders that leader do (lack of critique on work either good, bad or ugly; rules are vague or totally unnecessary; nitpicking the wrong things; avoid interactions with co-workers; backstabbing and finger pointing). All bad behaviors that can tear down a team or organizations.

What about those behaviors that are less noticeable but maybe just as destructive?

Here are three items that I have witnessed recently that really are damaging to the team.

  1. Foot-dragging… Sometimes the foot-dragging happens due to lack of information or understanding where to go to get stuff done. I am talking about the polite foot-dragging. That item where the leader looks you in the eye, says they will do something and actually do nothing. You walk up days later and ask how it is going on that item… The answer is, “sorry! I have not had time to work on it.” Or worse yet, “sorry! I forgot about that. I will let you know, later.”
  2. Agreement, without any follow-though… My personal favorite! Agreeing with you and saying they will do something and do nothing.
  3. Reoccurring confusion… Whenever something is brought up over and over agree and the leader looks like they are hearing this for the first time or has no ideal what is going on.

These are items that are completely underhanded. They are not as easy to notice. They do have the same effect of tearing down the team.

As a leader, you have to be aware of when you are doing these. You should know when you are doing these. Stop it immediately! The eyes of the team are on you and they know when you are doing it. They live it.

If you are a team member that has a leader that does this. Maybe the leader does not know they are doing it. It is fair to bring it up when it happens. Point out past discussions and what was said. A simple, “do you remember us discussing this on (date) or the other day. We agree that we would going to do XXX and you personal were going to do YYY.”  Be polite, but you and your co-workers need to make sure that underhanded behavior does not continue.

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