I have several clients who do everything they can to avoid conflict at work. They simply don’t like to contradict or correct peers or subordinates. When I speak with them, it’s almost as if they wear this trait as a badge of honor. Even my son (a.k.a. Little Man) who is very good at sports and is well-liked by all his teammates refuses to say much more than hello and goodbye on both practice and game days. When I ask LM about this, he usually shrugs his shoulders and says something like, “I don’t want to be a boss.”
10 years old and he doesn’t realize how he is solving conundrums of upper management all over the Midwest.
“I don’t want to be a boss.”
Many people want to be leaders. Even the title of Manager is sought by most. But boy oh boy isn’t there a difference in a person’s psyche when you change the word “leader” for “boss.” Look up the word “confrontation” at www.thesaurus.com. My ‘thesaurical’ word of choice in a list comprising such tasty words as battle, crisis, and contest, is a simple word…
Interesting how that word is a choice as a synonym for confrontation? Leaders do not have confrontations, they have meetings. They discuss. They do not boss. Leaders offer solutions to subordinate’s specific challenges. They do not battle or start a crisis. Leaders solve problems, not create them by confrontations.
I have always challenged my son to choose his language carefully. What goes in is what comes out. He does not want to be a boss. By proxy, he attaches the word boss to the actions of leadership. Do you know anyone in the professional world who does that as well?
If you feel like your scales are not balanced between leadership and management, let’s talk. If you see meetings with people as battles and confrontations, let’s talk. Let’s view problems as solutions that haven’t grown up yet and not as formidable mountains. If this sounds all too familiar to you, reach out to me at betterplace-consulting.com. We can help!