|By Carl ToersBijns, former deputy warden, ASPC Eyman, Florence AZ|
One of the most common mistakes made by supervisors is to bully their way into a conversation and when challenged with a legitimate reasons for asking the “why” of the directive, they have to ponder for a moment, give it a long pause and reply “because I told you so” giving no other explanation other than bullying out their demands either in private or worse, in a public setting. Leaders that offer no leadership are not frontrunners. Leaders are not positional and are not designated or selected to lead as the role is purely situational and not based on title or authority.
How many times have you heard your supervisor tell you or shout at you these words “I don’t care how long it takes” and what about my favorite “because that’s the way I want it” leaving no room for compromise or further discussions. Attitudes such as this are known to be 100 % wrong and demonstrate poor leadership skills as well as ill preparation to be in a command position as part of a team or workforce.
Bullying and belittling key members of a team or workforce is most unacceptable and destroys morale as well as any motivation the employee may possess up to that point when he or she hears these nasty comments directed towards them in a harsh and unpleasant manner or tone. It does not inspire people to work harder or increase productivity. In fact it hampers individual responsibilities normally acquired when someone takes pride in their work.
Quantum leadership is the type of management style that dumps work and responsibility on others. It creates animosity and tension in the workplace one must remember that carrying a title, no matter how fancy or impressive, does not make the leader better than the rest. Ranting and raving as well as nagging or pushing people into work situations creates division among team members and management and must be avoided in order to maintain a harmonious environment.
Most workers understand and accept the fact that certain positions carry with them specific responsibilities. They know that each person has a job to do as well as a specific purpose to complete. Stepping on toes does nothing to improve the skill or manner a worker functions or behaves. As a leader it is important that you don’t step on one employee to elevate your own sense of importance or value.
Shouting and avoiding eye contact means you are talking above the head or more commonly called “over their heads” of those you want to listen to you but because of your arrogance, you are talking down and being demeaning in conduct. Leaders must recognize they are members of the same team and as such you both work for the organization for success and services provided. Remember that respect does not flow downstream but rather it moves both downstream and upstream as it must be mutual and flow both ways. If you want to be respected, you must show others respect. It is that simple.
Editor’s note: Carl ToersBijns (retired), worked in corrections for over 25 yrs He held positions of a Correctional Officer I, II, III [Captain] Chief of Security Mental Health Treatment Center – Program Director – Associate Warden - Deputy Warden of Administration & Operations. Car’s prison philosophy is all about the safety of the public, staff and inmates, "I believe my strongest quality is that I create strategies that are practical, functional and cost effective."
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