Better Business Results Start with You - How Leaders Learn to Lead Better, Part 2
In this three-part series, we’ll examine senior leadership-types we’ve coached, who, while talented, passionate and experienced, weren’t getting the results they had hoped for. In part 2 of the series, we’ll look at the strategies Cindy used to gain confidence in her decision-making skills, as well as the ensuing results. Click here for part 1.
Cindy, the Too-Nice Leader
I worked with Cindy for a year. She was well-respected and often described as “super nice.”
Cindy excelled at empathy and was a great listener. She often solicited everyone’s input and took the time to hear everyone out. But after she would collect all the data and then make an informed decision, she would get frustrated when people didn’t agree with her.
She would sometimes even get angry with the fact that everyone had differing opinions and agendas and often resented that she had taken so much time to listen, only to be greeted with such a disagreeable result.
Soon, Cindy began to have issues with her company’s shareholders. She had tried to mediate -- to explain everyone’s position and her own -- but would get overwhelmed when some of the larger shareholders would push back.
Cindy felt stuck in a constant whirlwind of turmoil, which often led her to tune people out or remove herself from controversial situations. She felt she was being treated unfairly and was ready to quit.
As we worked together, we helped her identify and remedy some of the most critical issues to Cindy’s stressful experiences.
She felt like she did a great job of listening and working with everyone, but she feared that no matter what she did, it wasn’t going to be good enough to consistently work out well.
She had also faced men in her life that seemed similar to the shareholders she was working with and felt they couldn’t be trusted, which made it impossible for her to mediate or resolve their concerns.
As we continued to dig deeper, Cindy began to see that these were old patterns that kept her from trusting others and working towards solutions.
Through the process of identifying patterns by observing her at work, as well as collecting data from a 360-degree feedback process that included one-on-one conversations, Cindy started to see her issues more clearly.
She began to take accountability for her own patterns, so that others might do the same. Then Cindy did something that seemed very strange to her at first -- she forgave herself, and she forgave others, which helped pave the way for acceptance and a higher sense of value.
Rather than quit, Cindy continued in her role, saving the organization close to $100k in recruiting costs, not to mention the unforeseen losses that occur when a C-level executive leaves an organization after a short tenure.
What about you? Do others constantly tell you that you’re “too nice?” Do you feel like a doormat, or like you’re juggling way too much while plastering a forced smile on your face?
If that sounds like you, send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and our team will help you get customized, actionable steps that can help improve your -- and your company’s -- situation.