Have you ever caught a whiff of a smoky haze coming from down the hall? …The kind that indicates something is not quite right?
Occasionally a fire alarm even goes off, but it is quickly silenced.
…But if you follow your nose the smoke gets thicker around another titled leader’s door.
Yes – I’m asking about a titled leader that may be a level or two below you, may be your direct report, your peer or even your boss.
Once upon a time, I worked with someone that had some great skills even though they made a lot of choices that I didn’t like, respect or trust. (This person was smart, witty, and could be really fun, but repeatedly lied and manipulated and bullied others to get what they wanted.)
Years after we worked together, that person sent me an invitation to connect on LinkedIn.
- If some time had not passed, I would have declined it instantly and been filled with tons of negative emotions as I did it.
Last week’s post: Together You Stand, Divided You Fall is the first part of this “mini series.” If you missed it, click here.
When I was a teenager I watched daytime soap operas. In each of them there was always a manipulative character that consistently pressed invisible buttons, somehow always getting what they wanted.
I remember wondering if anyone could actually be that conniving.
This weekend a news article and a video that covered different stories, were shared on social media.
Both were shared to stir hate and both effectively stirred up some of their intended audience.
- The article made me angry
- The video shocked me
My friend, Kate Nasser is doing a beautiful job of leveraging her #PeopleSkills platform to shine a light on workplace bullying.
She recently challenged my friend and co-author Susan Mazza to share her Letter To A Bully on her blog.
In Susan’s post she asked,
It did not take me long to craft my response to Susan because I’ve spent so much time pondering this issue – long before I called it what it is. (Anyone that tears down others so that they will feel better about themselves is a bully.) Below are links to three of my previous posts.
1. I was a bully, and it changed my life.
2. Like you, I’ve seen great leaders and I’ve seen workplace bullying that reminds me of the playground. It makes my stomach churn and my heart ache.
3. Bullies on the playground and in the workplace reflect the hearts and minds of racists, drug lords, human traffickers and unfortunately many world leaders.
This was my answer to Susan…
October 16th is Boss’s Day.
When I think of Boss’s Day I think of the bosses I’ve had, the bosses I’ve seen and the boss I’ve been. I think of the skills I admired and echoed. I think of the skills I could see that were buried under layers of self-discipline issues and integrity challenges. I think of the good, the bad and the ugly:
- The boss that was in his late 40’s, that would have temper tantrums like a two-year old when things did not go well. (Stomping feet, throwing things, and completely consumed with blaming someone instead of problem solving.)
- The boss that was kind, fun, supportive, and late for everything!
- A different boss that realized in a training that her constant tardiness felt like a slap in the face to many of her employees and they were questioning her integrity. (Her discovery was profound and behavior-altering!)
- The boss that listened first to understand, then evaluated if the team had the tools,training and support to do their job before determining how to handle poor performance. (Building trust and a strong organization!)