Is it possible for a leader to be “too nice” and allow their employees to take advantage of them?
We have got to address the fact that sometimes, even though we are trying to be nice, people will take advantage of that easy-going nature that we have as frontline leaders.
Consider the following scenario:
Are You “Too Nice”?
Being too nice is a risk that all leaders need to be aware of. We have talked about it in different episodes where we have dealt with friendship versus leadership or favoritism.
What about when you are just trying to be easy-going and then your team takes longer breaks or does the following things:
- Performing less work than others
- Asking for more time off (or more than is reasonable to ask for/more than your other team members.)
What happens is, you say “yes” a few times, and then before you know it, now you have got this precedent. It can create this dynamic in your team.
Avoid Getting Taken Advantage of And What to Do When It Happens
How do you avoid employees taking advantage? What do you do when it happens to you as a leader?
Here are a few tips:
Tip Number One: Be Aware That It Is Happening
Think about some of your relationships with your team members. Do you have some people that are getting away with taking longer or more personal breaks or people that get more time off?
We may make allowances depending on what might be happening to them personally. Over time, this can create quite a difference in expectations between team members.
Think about the people on your team:
- Do you expect more from some and less from others?
- Are you being fair and consistent?
- Is it starting to cause a rift and creating problems?
- Will this prevent you, as a leader, in terms of your ability, from getting the work done?
- Are you struggling to get your team motivated and engaged?
Tip Number Two – Part 1: Set Consistent Expectations Across Your Team
If you do not have any standards as a leader, it is going to be easy for people to create a very wide gap between expectations for some team members and for others. It is important for you to decide what your standards are as a leader.
This is a suggestion for your peers and yourself because sometimes you might have a certain set of standards, but another supervisor or manager in another department has a much wider set of expectations. That can cause problems too.
Have some degree of consistency. If you are the manager of other leaders, you should make sure that they are leading in a fairly consistent way so that employees will not say, “Well, in that department, they get away with this, but here we cannot.” Set consistent expectations and then explain why.
If you do not have any standards as a leader, it is going to be easy for people to create a very wide gap between expectations for some team members and for others. It is important for you to decide what your standards are. Click To Tweet
Tip Number Two – Part 2: Explain Why
Let your team know why you need to set these expectations in a narrower band for the fact that you do not want to have perceived favoritism. You want to make sure that the workload is distributed evenly and that you are being fair and consistent with everyone.
Tip Number Three: Remain Friendly and Approachable
When leaders see that they are being taken advantage of they overreact, almost to the negative side. They start becoming more distant, more robotic, more methodical, and they forget that their employees are human beings. Your team members are not machines, and they do need some TLC.
You need to remain friendly and approachable because that is the best way of having information flow freely to you and it also makes them more receptive.
When you ask them to do something, they will be more likely to help you because they realize that you are treating them as human beings.
When leaders see that they are being taken advantage of they overreact, almost to the negative side. They start becoming more distant, more robotic, more methodical, and they forget that their employees are human beings. Click To Tweet
What Else Do You Need?
When you have figured out how to make sure that employees are not taking advantage of the situation, you might say, “Well, you know what? I need to work on some of my other leadership skills and abilities.”
That is, of course, our expertise at Front Line Leadership.
It all begins with a conversation, and you can visit us online at UniqueDevelopment.com. We will have a discussion with you to see if virtual training is the right answer or if an instructor is best to come and deliver workshops on-site.
Depending on whether you have a few people that need to take training, or hundreds of people to take training, we are doing that now in French, English, and Spanish.
Visit us on our website, or you can connect with us on our social media channels. Whichever way it helps for you to investigate how to increase the leadership ability for yourself or for other leaders in your organization, we are here to help you maximize your leadership effectiveness.