“Being in a bad work environment is like having a heavy cloud around you all the time. When you are in an office that is friendly and respectful it is like the sun is shining.”
The power of a leader. When you are on a journey to uncover the essence of a great leader it is invaluable to hear personal insights from a team members perspective. Not someone who has their own aspirations for leadership or management positions. Instead a normal, diligent worker whose role requires them to report to management.
Today we are joined by Jess who compares two different leadership styles she has encountered. Her experiences are both with a positive and negative workplace culture. We discuss the impact these behaviours had on her mental health and relationship with her family.
Firstly, Jess reflects on her experience working in a positive environment. A period which she speaks fondly of working with a Manager who had a patient and supportive leadership style. The environment this leader created was one where Jess didn’t feel scared or intimidated. If she made a mistake, she wasn’t accused or damned for her effort. Jess approached her day with confidence, slowed down and took the time to learn and try new things. The complete opposite can be said for her experience working within a negative work culture.
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Under the leadership of someone who chose to micromanage their team, Jess was exposed to a stifling environment where a continued lack of trust was mentally and physically draining. Jess no longer had the confidence to show initiative. Contrary to working in a supportive office, mistakes were commonly criticised and this was generally done publicly. It was an unnerving workplace where everyone felt as if they were walking on eggshells. Jess remembers the team being divided and dysfunctional and everyone knew that a co-worker would throw you under-the-bus to protect themselves first.
How do you improve on a culture such as this when the people skills from top Management weren’t the best either? How do you break the cycle when Managers are developing bad habits from the top? It was because of this insight that Jess felt there was nowhere to go and it began to have serious implications on her personal life.
Contrary to her bad experience with these leaders Jess didn’t think these individuals were bad people. Just not leadership material. They knew everything they needed to know about the job, just not how to get different people to work together and achieve good results.
An experienced and successful leader will use their power to create a positive work culture and environment. Companies ultimately want their people to use initiative. This is far more conducive to improve individual effort and team performance.
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Join us as we hear the insights Jess has shared as being essential traits of a successful leader. If you find yourself in anything but a positive work environment, here are some steps you can take to protect and empower yourself.