Doing everything in your power to be a nice and friendly leader for your team? Well, here's the ugly truth: your team isn't going to like you all the time.
It's not easy being a leader these days. No matter how badly you want to be liked by everyone in your team, things are meant to go south at some point. Sadly, many managers and leaders continue nurturing the culture of “nice” despite knowing the fact that it's not going to work well in the long term.
Keeping this in mind, I’ve decided to highlight the seriousness of this matter through my words. In my post, i will share some really helpful insights on why “being nice” is a common mistake many leaders are making today and what they need to do about it.
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What's Wrong with Being Too Nice?
Before I start to tell you what’s bad about being too nice as a leader, imagine yourself dealing with some of of the stickiest business situations. For example,
- Telling team members that they’ve messed up
- Telling teams that they are not using their work hours productively
- Telling team members or clients that you disagree with them
- Confronting teams for delayed projects or poor project delivery
- Firing someone for poor performance and productivity
These simple workplace scenarios clearly show everything that is wrong with being too nice as a leader. Simply put, when the concept of “nice” is overemphasized in a workplace, seeing things as they are and telling people the truth becomes 100X harder.
P.S. - I’m not advocating for anyone to be a cruel or disrespectful. But if “too nice” is what defines your leadership, you need to give yourself a quick reality check before things get really bad (for you as well as your team).
What You Must Do Instead?
When you have a choice between “being a nice and friendly leader” and “being a firm and decisive leader”, go with the latter. Looking for ideas? Here are a few tips that will help you foster a positive, productive work environment without coming out as a cold and rude leader.
Bad Hire? Let it Go
There is no benefit in holding people that often fail to meet your needs and expectations. Yes, firing employees is one of the toughest situations for a leader, but you're not doing any good for anyone by not letting them go.
Foster Communication that’s Honest and Exclusive
Don't let your team's productivity fall victim to poor communication or improper information sharing just because you're too nice to point out the problem. Create a communication system that enables your team to brainstorm ideas, discuss projects, share constructive feedback, and more, irrespective of where they are.
Don’t be Afraid to Talk about the Tough Stuff
“Why is it getting delayed?”, “Why did you fail?”, “Where did you go wrong?”, etc - these are some tough questions that leaders often refrain from asking. It's okay, you don't want to seem rude. But will it workout in the long run? The answer is no. You will have to talk about the tough stuff sometime because if you don't, things will be exactly the opposite of what you planned.
Don’t Sugarcoat - Tell People What They Need to Hear
We all like to hear sugarcoated sentences. But it doesn't work well in the workplace environment. As a leader, you must tell your employees what they need to hear. Sugarcoating a negative feedback will do no good. Instead, help them find room for development. If you want to motivate your team members to be more productive, point out key areas of improvement in their performance and tell them what they needs to be changed.
The Final Verdict
Being nice - being liked - and being a good leader are three completely different leadership scenarios. Your job is to be what’s best for the team you lead. Just keep in mind that you have to embrace a strategy that brings success and makes your team better than before.
What other mistakes you’re likely to make as a leader? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Vartika Kashyap is the Marketing Manager at ProofHub and has been one of the LinkedIn Top Voices in 2017 and 2018. Her articles are inspired by office situations and work-related events. She likes to write about productivity, team building, work culture, leadership, entrepreneurship among others and contributing to a better workplace is what makes her click. Follow her on Linkedin.
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