Professional Skills

How to Work Peacefully with These 5 Kinds of Difficult Leaders

Everyone has come across difficult leaders. Some learn to work around them while others resent. Irrespective of how you deal with them, it is a burden you must shoulder alongside. In this article at Fast Company, Paolina Milana discusses how to work peacefully with 5 kinds of difficult leaders.

Dealing with Difficult Leaders

Difficult leaders utilize power to control and dominate people. They display this behavior out of jealousy for talented subordinates or simply to implement their own version of leadership. True leadership is about enabling future leaders and acknowledging skills over personal grievances. Since they are not going to change soon, device ways to handle them. Following are the tips to work peacefully with 5 types of difficult leaders:

Forgetting All About the Conversation: Difficult leaders often back off from their promises, even if they had given the go-ahead before. This causes a loss of your productive hours. If you have encountered this several times, observe who they are taking advice from. Include them along with the leaders in a meeting and get their written consent on the project scope. Confirm in regular intervals that they are still with you on the plan.

Not Being Collaborative: Your project would benefit from cross-functional collaboration. However, your bosses do not want to involve other departments unless there is no other way out. Build a rapport with other teams outside the office. Share projects that various teams can work on. This cross-functional openness will allow everyone to understand the bigger picture.

Disagreement Leads to Payback: Disagreement with difficult leaders can isolate you from the rest of the team. This is one of their tactics to keep everyone in control and increase ‘yes’ men in the team. Have a one-on-one meeting with the managers. Email the meeting minutes and how you understand their priorities. This can help you ward off allegations.

Putting Blames on Others: When projects fail, difficult leaders try to dig out ‘culprits’ rather than finding a resolution. Despite your efforts in taking positive lessons learned, they insist on finding out the failed conceptualist. Have a meeting where everyone understands the terms they agreed before starting the project. Objectively point out the positive and negative aspects of the project.

Taking Undue Credits: Taking credits is a common trait of difficult leaders. They tactfully utilize your talents to hog the limelight without ever acknowledging the hard work. Write an email internally to acknowledge your team. You can also write an email directly to the leaders stating your disappointment. Irrespective of how they react, your teammates will appreciate your support during their difficult times.

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