3 Simple Steps for a Doormat Boss to Stop Sabotaging Their Team

Are you a Doormat Boss?  Do you find yourself constantly saying Yes to your team when you don’t want to?  Even if you start with No, do you end up saying yes, just to get some peace and quiet?  And then get annoyed at yourself for not sticking to your guns?  You are not alone!  You can break through this workplace dynamic with these three simple actions:

Step 1:  Look Through Your Staff’s Perspective 

The key to overcoming this “YES” habit is to become aware of the impact this behavior has on others.  Do a quick 180 degree turn and look at it through your staff’s eyes.  At first they may like it and it makes them feel good.  Eventually, you as the manager become a rubber stamp.  They don’t value your yes and as a result you loose respect.  Your team quickly learns that you say yes to everyone.  Unintentionally you are communicating that their need or request is not being truly evaluated or considered.  Therefore  your “yes” is not meaningful.  When you continuously say yes to everyone, the value of  your “yes” diminishes. And so will your power and sphere of influence. Think about Jim Carrey in Bruce Almighty – if everyone wins the lottery ticket and gets what they want, it’s pretty worthless.

Step 2: Being Liked Does Not Always Produce Results

In my first job as a manager I wanted everyone to like me and want to work for me.  I quickly found that my employees liking me did not produce results.  Producing results and ensuring employees meet their work contract is a key management function.  I’m not saying you can’t be kind.  What I am saying is that you must look honestly at your own behavior.  If you are being stepped on by your own employees because you are people pleasing, it will impact productivity.  A lot of people count on you at your workplace; if you are too busy people pleasing and by definition that means, taking on more of the work, letting things slide, and letting your team manage you, everyone’s results are compromised.

Step 3: “No” Is A Complete Sentence

Let’s be clear about the power dynamic in the boss-employee playing field.  One player is the boss, and one is not.  Whoever said in the sandbox, “you’re not the boss of me,” was dead wrong when it comes to workplace structure.  Practice saying “no” and say it as often as necessary.  You are the boss in the workplace and by definition that means guiding your staff’s actions, mentoring their growth and helping your team to achieve.

What’s Next:

If you have doormat tendencies, be honest with yourself about why you are trying to please others. Make a conscious choice to think about what is being asked before responding.  Practice saying NO!

Read an oldie, but goodie on being a Doormat Boss in this 4-minute read Fast Company article on this topic.

Have you ever had a doormat boss? And if you need to learn how to say NO – you’ll enjoy my book, there is a whole section on how to say No!

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