Common Behaviors That Derail Leadership

There is truth in the saying leaders aren’t born, they’re made. They are cultivated over years of training, experience, and habit. Unfortunately, that cultivation can be from both good and bad ends of the leadership spectrum, which can create negative leadership traits. According to a study by DDI, 57% of employees quit their job solely due to frustrations with their boss. And with the current tight labor market, companies can’t afford a revolving door of top talent. Check out these common personality traits that tend to derail leadership and how to fix them!

Stuck in Their Ways

While this particular trait can affect all levels of management, the inability to change or adapt tends to be a issue more-seasoned leaders face. Whether it is holding on to past decisions that once worked yet are no longer effective or doing the same thing over and expecting different results, business professionals who are stuck in their ways can cause their teams to stagnate.

And while some may lack the skills needed to implement change or be flexible with their organization, that doesn’t have to have a negative effect on their teams.

If this is an issue, surround yourself with team members who are adaptable and can be fluid in areas you struggle. Lean on their experience to help break you out of the stagnation.

One-Way Conversationalist

While words can be misconstrued and others can be chocked up as lost in translation, communication breakdown is one of the fastest ways to derail any organizational goal or initiative. Although most understand the importance of effective communication skills, it still remains elusive for many. In a recent study by Lemonly, researchers found that 3 in 4 workers see communication as the number one attribute for leaders; however, only 1 in 3 employees say their leadership teams communicate effectively.

One cause for poor communication is due to passive or inactive listening, as in not being fully present when speaking with employees. This type of one-way conversationalist can cause resentment and employees not feeling heard or validated. If this is an issue, try asking more questions to see how certain things may affect your employees. Consider using a third-party person or HR professional to help mediate conversations.

Not Knowing When to Move On

The law of diminishing returns states that sooner or later when working on a project, a person or team gets to a point where spending more time or money on it actually diminishes it’s return on investment. In other words, to avoid this reality, it’s important for leaders to know when to close the book on a project and deem the work good enough to move on. However, this can be a problem with individuals who tend to be perfectionists at work. Perfectionism can be a double-edged sword in the sense that it has positive and negative effects. Leaders with this trait tend to have excessively high standards, as well as overly critical self-evaluations.

While this issue can increase stress and create the inability to finalize projects, it can also create unneeded anxiety among employees who are trying to meet the unrealistic demands of their leaders. Working through this trait takes time, but understanding the differing levels of importance of work can help leaders focus on what needs to be done right and what needs to be good enough to move on.

Have a Bad Trait? Don’t Fret, Fix It!

No leader is perfect. We all have blind spots that have the potential of causing issues in the workplace and derail our overall goals. Before you can work out these issues, it’s important to bring them to light. Programs like 360-degree performance reviews are a great way to learn more about your behaviors and competencies, as well as how your leadership style affects employees, peers, and superiors. Once you become aware of potential personalities traits that are less than ideal, you can take the next step into working through them with your team.

What personality traits to you find most threatening to success? How has your team alleviated issues in the past? Let us know in the comments section below!

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