Never Do This As A leader

Let me share a recent incident which a professional who I coached shared with me.

The daily morning zoom meeting was on and the boss lost his temper- ‘How can you do that? Don’t you have any brains? I had asked you to call me at 7.30 pm after you have completed your calls but you simply sent me your call report? I will now have to check all your daily call reports because I am not sure whether you have really been making any genuine calls??”. He said this furiously to the sales manager in front of the other team members who included those who were reporting into the sales manager. Also, we need to remember that in the WFH environment, such public abuse also reaches the family members.

Just imagine the negative impact it had on the entire team and the sales manager. And this boss is known to behave in this unpleasant manner on a regular basis. No wonder the company has a ‘revolving door’ situation and am sure this contributes majorly to the performance of the team which is way below expectations.

With my over 3 decades of experience I know that with such a behavour the boss has lost the employee forever. ‘Self respect’ which is linked to one’s self esteem is any individual’s greatest asset and as leaders, we have to be extra careful that we do not touch the wrong chord. Once a boss puts down an employee in front of his/her juniors, the entire effort of building a team goes waste in a moment and the morale of the whole team drops low. Such situations have the potential of brewing as a platform for politics. I have come across so many professionals who share with us this kind of an uncalled for behavior from their bosses.

The 5 things that get adversely affected by putting down an employee publicly or giving negative feedback about a person in front of the team:

1] Self respect: The individual team member  loses self respect in front of all his/her team members.
2] Performance: The performance which the individual employee has given till date is as good as written off.
3] Team spirit: It affects the reporting relationship of the the team members who are reportees with the manager.
4] Boss’ effectiveness: The work load on the boss will increase and the purpose of building a strong team structure will be defeated.
5] Employer branding: The hurt employee will not talk good about the company just in case he/she leaves, so the brand reputation of the organization as an employer will suffer.

As leaders, we should always remember that it is imperative to be very appreciative about our team members ‘only in the open in forum’ {it boosts morale} and when it comes to pointing out concerns/areas of an individual’s improvement, it has to be done within ‘closed doors’.

The key qualities required by a good leader under such situations are:

1]Patience – A virtue which most good leaders have. Allow the other person room for mistakes.

2]Empathy – It is important to first understand what is the reason for the team member to behave in a manner which is outside the norm ( or your expectations as a leader). Then have a solution oriented discussion   and due consideration is to be allowed.

3]Objectivity – Look at the situation objectively with no need to  make assumptions. Is it that the team member’s behavior is constantly inappropriate? And let us not write off all the good qualities of that team member because of an instance or two. Reacting is not the answer.

4]Long term thinking– One needs to think of the impact such a behavior on a leader’s part will have on the whole team and how does it affect the work in the long run.

P.S: Aspiration offers resume writing, LinkedIn profile writing and career transition coaching by Sarabjeet Sachar. In case it interests you to know more about our services, please send us a mail with your mobile number on and our team will reach out.

Happy Team Building!!

Sarabjeet Sachar

Founder & CEO