This is an article you may wish to read under cover or with a screen protector. If you do believe your boss is weak, personality differences are almost always to blame, but there is the rare case of there literally being a weakness in character or assertiveness. However, if you are of the belief your boss is weak and have experienced any of the following examples, the belief will catch you off guard and create problems. Those who are at times, seen as weak, are the same personality as those who hold grudges, won’t tell you they are mad as heck, but will find ways to get sincerely even. Be careful, but not just for that preventive measure. For the sake of experiencing the value of someone who is perhaps less intense, less talkative, more emotional, more considerate, and quite possibly less in need of control and less filled with quick judgment, consider a new approach in each of these three scenarios.
My Boss Never Challenges a Directive
If you are a hard driving, results oriented, bold and risk-taking individual who reports to a boss with a bit less intense of a demeanor, you may perceive a lack of challenge as a negative. Not everyone challenges a directive and in particular, those who have been around for a while and can see what might be coming or what is behind the message of stand down, for now. However, without the benefit of either experience, nor empathy, the overly ambitious, challenge seeking, goal achieving leaders may view a boss with any attributes not described in that manner to be weak in their immediate acceptance of an unlikable answer. Commanders, the more direct personality described here, see a directive as a suggestion and a challenge as negotiation. Relaters, the very personality those Commanders often view as weak, see a directive as a direction and follow it. This difference in perspective is powerful and not necessarily negative. If this is your belief of your leader ask yourself if your frustration is likely to change the situation. Take a step back and appreciate your boss’s perspective, ask questions about how he or she interpreted the situation. And if you’re still not satisfied, take your boss’s position as a challenge, not a weakness, and dare yourself to find another solution.
My Boss Doesn’t Defend Me
Choosing not to defend an employee’s behavior is not about weakness, but perhaps more about values or about behavior that is not worthy of a strong defense. This scenario may well warrant a mirror for your own actions if you ‘re not receiving the kind of loyal, in your corner, behavior you were expecting. The personality who will be last to jump out and yell “Nuh-Uh!” or “No, he isn’t” or “No, she didn’t” in the face of a threat, is the very personality who puts loyalty at the top spot on their values list. Your boss may not be defending you because they believe what you did to be wrong or offensive to the person to whom you were speaking. Your boss may not be defending you because doing so would bring more conflict to their office and conflict is last on their list of preferences. In either case, a lack of defense is not a weakness and a lack of immediate rescue is even lesser so. The personality traits you may be seeing are of someone who must give dedicated thought to the actions, their choices on the course of next action, and are feeling deeply about the situation. While you may not have time for feelings, recognize they do and that means they are considering yours, too.
My Boss Involves Everyone in Every Decision
Because they care about the feelings, input, beliefs, value, and reactions of each of those persons. Those who see this as weak or fail to recognize this trait as consideration are often the very person’s accused of bullying or making decisions in a vacuum. It takes far more effort to involve others and ask questions and await responses when trying to make a timely decision, than it does to run rough shod over whomever might be involved and deliver an edict. Commanders tend to deliver edicts, particularly when stressed. Relaters tend to exercise consideration and concern over the needs of others. If you see this as a weakness, are there others whom you lead who have an opinion, to which you’ve long ago stopped listening?
Weakness is in the eye of the beholder, but the Relators of the world and the attributes of their personality, are often seen in this manner by their exact opposite personality who creates and instigates scenarios in which arguing is called debate, risks are common place, and the intensity level is off the chart. Ask yourself this, when it comes to people, personalities, and the inescapable need to employ some form of emotional intelligence in your interactions, are you making assumptions that those vastly different are somehow negative? Are you confusing what you see with facts when it is merely your interpretation of someone else’s reasoning for taking actions? If part of being a good leader and becoming an even better leader is making better decisions and working well with others, you simply can’t afford to confuse fact with fiction or reality with interpretation. That, in fact, might become a weakness, if left to continue in your leadership.
Monica Wofford, CSP is a leadership development specialist and professional speaker. Her coaching, books, and skill based training programs are requested internationally. Monica is the CEO of www.ContagiousCompanies.com and a candidate for the Florida House of Representatives. She may be reached at 1-866-382-0121. To learn more about the CORE Profile® or to complete the abbreviated, free, CORE Snapshot™, follow this link.