5 Ways to Tell If You’re Abusing Your Authority

Do you encourage failure?

Do you encourage failure?

Being the boss is tricky sometimes. You want to create an environment of trust and respect while encouraging efficiency and managing a positive work environment. You can’t please everyone and when working with different personalities and stressors of your own, you might not even realize you’ve participated in some unsavory management tactics to get through the day.

To save yourself, and your employees, ask yourself the following questions to ensure you’re not taking advantage of your power.

Are you using intimidation to reach success?

Bullies are easy to spot because they don’t bully everyone, only those they feel enough power over to victimize. So you should ask yourself if certain members of your team make you feel more powerful than others and then begin to examine why.

Boss bullying can occur by way of sarcasm, yelling and sometimes even physical violence such as slamming drawers, throwing things and mishandling staff. If you use intimidation or humiliation tactics to get results from your team, consider that they’re simply complying with demands to avoid the brunt of your rage. Bullying behavior warrants lower performance and increased absenteeism, to name just a few negative reactions.

Do you manipulate?

If in an effort to meet business objectives, you find yourself choosing your immediate needs over the business’ long-term needs by way of lies and mind games, you might be a manipulator.

Making false promises to promote an employee so as to get better performance from them, pinning staff against each other, taking sides and picking favorites are a few signs to look for.

Are you a colleague-boss?

Do you try to be the “cool boss” by denying your power and trying to make everyone else feel equal? While there can be benefits to this tactic, without proper finesse and the right perspective you could be causing more harm than good. By failing to acknowledge the power you have regarding promotions, salaries, hiring and firing and access to information, you’re building a false reality within the department. You might even read as insecure and uncomfortable with your own authority which does more harm than just allow you to be taken advantage of; you’re also untrustworthy which can make your staff uncomfortable, too. And when the time comes for you to use your power to make a decision, your staff will be faced with the sudden reality that they’re not your equal after all.

Do you intrude on your employees’ privacy?

No one feels comfortable working for a snoopy boss. If you don’t trust your employees, a problem exists too large to fix by standing over their computer screen or checking their printing queue. Instead of quietly creeping up on working employees or keeping your ear tight on coffee break chatter, learn how to build a bigger trust among the team.

Do you encourage failure?

Do you set unrealistic goals for your employees or change project guidelines often, causing extra work and stress on the team? Do you avoid providing honest and constructive feedback? Do you withhold information that could be vital in the success of a project? You might be setting your staff up to fail and taking a deeper look is in everyone’s best interest.

You probably don’t mean to abuse your authority but if you find yourself questioning any of the above, you might want to reevaluate your management technique. It’s important for you to keep your perspective through the daily stress of being the boss otherwise you’ll lose the team’s respect and much more loss will follow suit.

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Do you want to motivate and lead your staff more effectively? My executive coaching services can help you hone your leadership skills and clearly define your goals and objectives.

How Optimizing Meeting Roles Could Save Big Bucks

Prioritize themes and goals

Prioritize themes and goals

If time is money, workplace meetings could sure rack up a huge bill. Meetings and events often take up a larger chunk of an organization’s budget than most might suspect, so it’s important to optimize space, goals and roles to ensure the company is seeing the best return on investment.

Prioritize themes and goals

Be sure to establish the goal of the meeting as a parameter for all necessary discussions and action items to fit within. If there are no takeaways or plans for change, the meeting could be considered a waste of time. Avoid time-wasters by considering the who, the why and the what’s next? And plan for follow-ups as necessary.

Invite only those who are necessary to the meeting

Video conferences might charge per person, so the cost for including non-essential employees is clear. But even when dealing with in-person meetings and events, inviting those who aren’t critical to the meeting or event is an unnecessary use of their time. Over time, this could add up to the illusion of poor work performance.

Don’t pay for things you don’t need

For long distance meetings, opt for technology over travel. With Skype and video conferencing, traveling from the Denver office to the New York office can be saved for bigger events worth the time and expenditure.

Shop around

If booking hotel conferences, be sure to negotiate for free wi-fi. Seek contracted group rates for guest rooms and ensure cancellation fees are avoidable. Choose the dates and times wisely whenever possible so you can take advantage of off-season rates.

Meetings may be important for info shares, team building, brainstorming and the like, but be sure you’re not overstepping any boundaries where money and time can be saved. Proper meeting management can make or break your bottom line.

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Do you want to motivate and lead your staff more effectively? My executive coaching services can help you hone your leadership skills and clearly define your goals and objectives.

Top 5 Limiting Beliefs That Will Keep You Out of the Corner Office

I’m underqualified.

I’m underqualified.

Getting ahead in business doesn’t come naturally to everyone. And you might be confused about how to accomplish your career goals quickly and professionally.

Corporate ladder climbing is often competitive and it can be hard to keep the courage to stick with it when the process might start to shine a light on your shortcomings.

The good news is letting career-limiting beliefs stand between you and your dream role is more easily avoidable than you think; but you have to start with identifying them. See if any of these resonate with your inner empowerment struggle and learn how to put your doubts in their rightful place; behind you.

  1. The job market is terrible, I should just be happy where I am.

While there is some validity to this thought process (gratitude can get you far), there’s no reason others can succeed in the same market while you hold on to negative odds. People are still getting jobs, and the market is on the upswing. Plus you never know if your dream position just opened up because the person who held it before moved on at the perfect time.

  1. I’m underqualified.

This is best left for the hiring manager to decide, so throw your hat into the ring regardless of whether or not you think you’re good enough. Our self-esteem can be easily damaged during an intensive job search but it’s important you disconnect that from your professional conquests. What’s the worst that can happen if you apply for a job you’re not qualified for? Then consider what’s the best that could happen.

  1. I’m overqualified.

No one is overqualified. You might not have the proper qualifications for one job or another but blanket statements like will have your job search going from “selective” to “impossible.”

  1. I’m too old.

If you’re fearful that your skills will be out of date, take this opportunity to update your education. If there’s a particular skill required for the job you desire most, take a course or network with the folks who understand it best. Otherwise your age shouldn’t limit you. You’ll always have something to offer that the younger generations can’t; figure out what it is and market it.

  1. I need experience to get the job, but I need to get the job to get experience.

This can be a frustrating predicament to find yourself, especially if you’re new to the job market. But don’t get stuck thinking you need to be on a particular journey in order to get the proper experience. Volunteering and interning, while undesirable, can help solve this problem in just a few short months. If this is the only thing holding you back, think outside the box and get creative.

Whether you’re fresh out of college looking for the perfect entry-level job or a seasoned veteran looking for that corner office, there are confidence pitfalls that make it easy to turn the probable into the impossible. Don’t let these beliefs get the best of you.

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Do you want to motivate and lead your staff more effectively? My executive coaching services can help you hone your leadership skills and clearly define your goals and objectives.

Why Working Around the Clock is Hurting Your Career

Creative Problem-Solving Fuel

Creative Problem-Solving Fuel

All too often, we let stress get the best of us. Suddenly workplace pressure goes beyond the walls of the workplace and impedes on our personal lives, as well. You might feel you need to stay on top of your work even off hours to stay competitive and empowered but there are some essential necessities to unplugging and relaxing a bit.

In general, play isn’t just important for kids to mold their imaginations and keep their energy buzzing; play should be an important part of every adult’s day. Here are some reasons getting in some playtime can actually improve your work performance when you get back there on Monday.

Creative Problem-Solving Fuel

Stepping outside of the ordinary box for recreational time can teach you a lesson or two, whether you know it or not. When there’s no goal to reach by the end of the day, you find yourself immersed in the experience, not the accomplishments. Suddenly you’re armed with a different perspective which can carry over to a more creative approach when facing job-related challenges.

Improvements in Mood and Well-being

This one is obvious but incredibly important. You’re no good to anyone or any job if you’re run down and frustrated. Allow those playtime endorphins to course through your veins whenever you can; it will keep you in a healthier, less stressed mental state when you’re back at your desk.

Enhanced Relationships and Social Empowerment

Meeting new people and sharing a few laughs when the heat is off can help you master it for when the heat is on. Networking is crucial in any career but if you always keep your head down and your mind on work, even on your own time, you’ll forget how to interact with people faster than you might expect. Plus you never know who you might meet at your neighbor’s brother’s friend’s barbeque; it could be someone with a lead on your dream job.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed with your daily responsibilities and the pressures at work to stay competitive and competent but if you don’t allow for some personal time to kick back and get out of your goal-reaching mind, your actions are more counterproductive than good. Seek stress relief whenever possible and always surround yourself with good people and great laughs; it’ll improve your work performance 10-fold.

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Do you want to motivate and lead your staff more effectively? My executive coaching services can help you hone your leadership skills and clearly define your goals and objectives.

Are You One of the Horrible Bosses?

The Monster

The Monster

Not all types of bosses are horrible, but even if you’re trying your best, you might be using methods that don’t translate to your employees with the same intention you think they do. Let us help you figure out what type(s) of boss you might be and how you can make some minor adjustments to improve your relationship with the team.

The Buddy

Are you trying hard to be friends with your team? Making jokes, being lenient about the rules, planning fun events to bond over? While levity has its place in the office, make sure you’re not using your coolness to detract from actually taking care of your team where it matters. Free pizza might be a nice bonus on a Friday afternoon but if those tactics distract you from being knowledgeable and reliable during the rest of the day, you might need to reprioritize. Your employees are seeing through it, whether you want to believe it or not.

The Phantom

Are you always on some kind of business trip or locked away behind the closed door of your office? Being a trusted manager means you need to put in some face time with your team. Don’t leave the team searching for guidance and coming up short because they can’t find you or know how to approach you. Being present and engaging is important.

The Manipulator

Do you find yourself making promises you can’t keep just to appease a situation? You’re likely causing more harm than good. Lip service from a manager is one of the most frustrating things for an employee to endure and when they don’t get the promotion you promised, your tactics will backfire quickly. Be an honest advocate for your team; they’ll understand your limitations, you don’t have to play mind games.

The Softy

If you think you’re making it easier on your employees to use kid-gloves when managing, you’re not. Eventually the overall needs of the business will catch up to you and your team alike, and by then everyone will feel too overwhelmed to be productive. Being the boss means making difficult decisions. If you’re too nice to make those decisions, you’ll end up molding a lazy team that will grow to disrespect you in no time. Give your team the chance to be proactive rather than reactive.

The Monster

Don’t be a softy, but don’t be harsh on your team, either. People skills are crucial to your success as a manager and if you’re missing general human decency, perhaps you should consider a role where you interact less with coworkers. Shaming your staff or being unnecessarily difficult when it comes to work challenges or personal issues will provide you with a fearful, resentful, unproductive group of employees. Not everyone is cut out to be a manager, if this is particularly difficult for you, it might be time for a change.

Your intentions are probably pure but your methods might not reflect that. Don’t let your own workplace pressures get in the way of how you manage your team. Leadership involves understanding, guidance and the proper perspective; the results you’ll get from the right balance of that will be worth it.

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Do you want to motivate and lead your staff more effectively? My executive coaching services can help you hone your leadership skills and clearly define your goals and objectives.