COPING WITH INTIMIDATING BEHAVIORS OF THOSE YOU LEAD!
Successful Leaders are aware that leading others during challenging times can be difficult when you run into intimidating behavior by those you lead. Remember, the reality is it must be dealt with through open communication, constructive criticism and ultimately through respectful collaboration and understanding. By staying calm and composed, Successful Leaders learn to how to navigate intimidating situation to make progress and achieve success.
Successful Leaders are Big Believers in managing the intimidating behaviors of those they lead when faced with a major challenge or crisis. Let’s face it… leading others during difficult times can get emotional, especially when the rapport with the leader is not what it should be. When you see intimidating behaviors, avoid taking what you see and feel personally. You could be witnessing the following:
- Frustration and fearfulness about the situation or challenge.
- Venting… to address their reactive anger or dissatisfaction with a directive given.
- Heighten concern over expectations in light of many unknowns.
- A strong sense of being unprepared to deal with the task at hand.
- Avoidance… not wanting the responsibility or accountability for dealing with ambiguity of the crisis.
Yes, this is part of the difficulties of leading others when the people you lead are feeling overwhelmed by emotions, perceptions, anxiety and stress. The push back to doing something you have asked a team member to do can look like... and actually be intimidating. In fact, experienced leaders will tell you that intimidation by a subordinate during a crisis can be expected and it is common. And… from a leader point of view, it is certainly counter-productive but it must be dealt with through open communication, constructive criticism and ultimately through respectful collaboration and understanding.
How does as a leader prepare oneself to deal with intimidation? Glad you ask that question because you start with asking yourself a question: “Have I built enough goodwill and rapport with my people that they feel they can trust me to instruct them on what needs to be done and how to do it?” If those you lead perceive you as untrustworthy, incompetent or not acting in their best interest during a challenging time or crisis, they will resort to intimidation as a means of expressing their lack of confidence in your leadership. A leader has to build the trust, be confident and competent to address intimidation before it becomes insubordination.
Three general pieces of advice:
- Be respectful. Do not overreact to how you are thinking and feeling at the time. Let the intimidating behavior of the person you are leading guide you to a proper response that brings about collaboration and trust.
- Continue to lead. Project confidence as the leader by maintaining good body language, speaking clearly and firmly while being committed to your decision making process. This process should include gaining a full understanding of the other person's point of view and their willingness to take action in response to your directives.
- Seek guidance. Establish a support network who can help you with these difficult situations. The intimidating behavior can help you be aware of your own shortcomings in being a Successful Leader. Learn and grow from every difficult situation you face as a leader.
Successful Leaders are aware that leading others during challenging times can be difficult when you run into intimidating behavior by those you lead. Remember, the reality is it must be dealt with through open communication, constructive criticism and ultimately through respectful collaboration and understanding. By staying calm and composed, Successful Leaders eventually learn to how to navigate intimidating situations to make progress and achieve success.