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Advice for Managers: 3 Toxic Dynamics to Avoid


Managers are only human, and it can be exhausting to have both people above and people below depending upon you to create results. Avoid the following three workplace dynamics and be a strong leader.

1. Relying on Past Experiences

Experience may be a great teacher. Relying too much on past experience can be a ticket to failure. As things change around us, we need to be flexible and change with them.

A new team member may have a different way of working than a manager has seen in the past. Different does not necessarily equal bad, and sometimes difference adds improvements. Available resources may change, and a good leader must be able to think on his feet. As the needs of the market changes, good leaders find ways to accommodate current needs.

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Good leaders must be ever mindful of their current work environment: the team members, the resources available, and the population the business serves.

2. Narcissism

Narcissus was the Ancient Greek who fell in love with his own reflection, hence the current word, “narcissism.” People often misinterpret narcissism as meaning, “love of self.” Narcissus did not fall in love with himself, but rather, he fell in love with his reflection. The distinction is important.

Narcissistic managers are more concerned with how they appear, often in their superiors’ eyes, than how their team is doing. This may work for a while. The team the narcissist is managing may function, but the manager is only focusing on looking good to others. Eventually, without good leadership, the team will fail.

Good leaders focus on those they are managing more than they focus on those who are watching from above.

3. Lack of Faith in Self

While you may not rely solely on your past experiences, you must still trust yourself to lead.

Everybody makes mistakes. The leader who does not trust herself will spiral downward. After making one bad decision, her self-confidence plummets and she continues to make fast, poorly thought-out decisions.

Good leaders accept that they will make mistakes, and they learn from their mistakes. Have faith in your own ability to step back and analyze your situation. Think through how and why your decision was a mistake, and what you can do to improve things.

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(Photo Credit: LadyDragonflyCC – >;< – Spring in Michigan!/Flickr)

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