When under constant pressure to deliver, achieve more with less, and carry the can when things go wrong, it is easy to forget the intense pressure leaders are experiencing today. This is costing organisations dearly in financial and human terms and it’s not sustainable. In fact, recent studies tell us that up to 75% of office workers are struggling to be productive. If that were a medical condition, it would be classed as an epidemic.
So, when the stakes are high, what makes managers act out the darker side of their leadership? How can individuals identify and challenge self-defeating behaviours to ensure that leadership shadows or ‘gremlins’ are disciplined? In my experience, workplace performance is dramatically affected when shadow behaviour is demonstrated (and it’s not just leaders, everyone has their “tipping point”).
We can do better, and we must do more to help raise the game of our leaders. In my job, I see good people, who when the stakes get high, respond by demonstrating automatic, unintentional and unconscious responses to events, people and situations. Shadow behaviour can look like:
- winning at any cost
- not admitting error
- pre-judging situations or people
- manipulation of the truth
- absence of trust and empathy
- courteous compliance (not saying what you really think and feel)
- abuse of power
At its worst it creates damaged relationships, diminished trust, clouded judgement, loss of moral integrity, stress and poor wellbeing.
So, what can be done to help leaders identify their shadow behaviours and how they are triggered (as they are both predictable and preventable). At Houston Exchange we believe in helping leaders discover the deepest sources of their most unproductive behaviours in relationships with others and to repair those relationships through more honest self-examination. We have successful track record in coaching individuals and teams to explore this element of Leadership. Let us help you to identify the Triggers (or external circumstances) that cause Shadow Behaviour and then help you eliminate them.
To find out more go to: Boosting Individual Performance & Change Resilience