How many times have I heard that recently! Then, when I ask about what happened to resolve the situation the answer tends to be ’they moved on/got promoted/moved departments’. We rarely hear about a change in behaviour or any other positive outcome, unless organisations take the plunge and engage specialist help.
Why is there still such inertia when it comes to dealing with abrasive managers?
Is an abrasive leader a bully? Is labelling helpful? Can the ‘bullying’ label can make organisations more reluctant to address this behaviour, as ‘bully’ is such an emotive term?
Often abrasive leaders don’t have the insight or empathy to realise the impact they are having, without specialist conflict coaching. On receiving 360 feedback they are often horrified to discover it. Moreover, this type of behaviour can be significantly and permanently improved by coaching. Coaching is a realistic, successful alternative to ignoring, moving-on or disciplining an abrasive leader, and can achieve lasting, positive change.
The hardest part in dealing with abrasive managers is taking that first step and raising the issue with the individual.
For a direct report this is especially difficult due to the imbalance of power. The responsibility for addressing the issue has to lie with senior management, to take the plunge and consider what action is needed to deal with the abrasive behaviour.
There are options out there and specialist abrasive leader coaching can be a very powerful tool.
We can also coach senior management on how to take that difficult first step and intervene with an abrasive manager, achieving lasting change.