Why People Pleasers Don’t Make Good Managers

If you constantly say “yes” to your team, you may be a “doormat boss.” This is about your behavior as a boss and not the annoying staff that keep asking you questions.  Break through this workplace dynamic and increase your sphere of influence with these three strategies (read the full Fast Company article with my quotes):

Step 1 – Look Through Subordinates Eyes

The key to overcoming this habit is for the pleaser to become aware of the impact this behavior has on others – do a 180 degree turn and look at it through the subordinate’s eyes.  At first they may like it and it makes them feel good – eventually, the manager becomes a rubber stamp and is not respected; as the employee learns that this person says “yes” to everyone and that their need or request is not truly evaluated, therefore “yes” is not meaningful.  If a boss says “yes” to everyone, the value of “yes” diminishes and so does that bosses 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 manager I wanted everyone to like me and want to work for me (mind you I was managing about 10,000 people).   I quickly found that my employees liking me did not produce results.  Producing results and making sure 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 the results are lagging and you as manager are stepped on by your 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-subordinate 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.

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 the request before responding.  Practice saying “no.”

To read the Fast Company article on this topic click here,

Have you ever had a doormat boss?  Tell us in comments what they did that annoyed you.

And if you need to learn how to say NO – you’ll enjoy my book!

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