Note to Jerky Leaders: How to mend a hostile work environment

Jerk Leader

June 13 – 18 is Be a Better Leader Week!

According the U.S. Department of Labor and E.E.O.C. employee harassment becomes unlawful where:

  1. Enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment, or
  2. The conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive. This is every Human Resource Managers worst nightmare because it is the employee’s ‘perception of the situation.’

JerksHere are some reminders and ideas for leaders concerning immediate improvement to situations that can result in reduced productivity, low morale and potential lawsuits. Problem? Some Jerky Leaders don’t get it and never will.  Others understand that it is within their scope to improve the work environment.

Office Politics: The Silent Killer


By Marsha Petrie Sue, MBA

Professional Speaker, Best Selling Author, Executive Coach

The secret is out: Office Politics can kill your dreams and success. Gossip can ruin your high hopes. It often seems like an unnecessary evil; but in reality, you are the one who has to learn how to handle these career murderers. You must play office politics, and learn to manage gossip to succeed.

“It is just as cowardly to judge an absent person as it is wicked to strike a defenseless one. Only the ignorant and narrow-minded gossip, for they speak of persons instead of things.” Lawrence G. Lovasik, Slovak priest

How to Get a Busy Boss to Listen


By Marsha Petrie Sue, MBA

The approach to get a busy boss to listen to you is the same as planning a presentation or written article.  You need a ‘hook’ to gain immediate interest. It doesn’t matter if you are new employee, a rising star or an executive wanting to discuss plans with your boss.  Make it about making money or saving time and your chances are better to get their attention.

Determine what is important on their plate now. Get that juicy starter and explain what they want to talk about. Send it out with an email, voice mail and a text message.

Why Dress Matters


By Marsha Petrie Sue, MBA

Many of us have children or grandchildren graduating this summer.  Are the prospects for them attaining the job of their dreams possible?  I say yes, especially if they are aware and have a specific understanding of what works in an interview and what doesn’t.

For example, Harvard Business Review recently posted this article:

How to Make a Subtle Display of Your Status in a Job Interview: 

How to Identify the Toxic Types of Difficult Behavior


By Marsha Petrie Sue

When you attempt to use the same approach for different styles of difficult behavior and situations, you will wind up with unresolved conflict. Learn the six types of difficult behaviors and you will build relationships that will help you find the success you deserve. Steamrollers, Zipper Lips, Know It All’s, Needy Weenies, Whine and Cheesers, and Back Stabbers can be found in the work place and at home!

Five Work Reflections: Ideas to keep you sane

I Love My Job

  1. Toxic bosses:  Determine if the person is just irritating or if they are really out to harm your career. You must decide if your boss’s behavior is illegal or unethical. When your boss displays truly unethical behavior, you must decide if you can live with just letting it go unaddressed. If you decide to take action, make sure you consider the working environment before proceeding. No one else will intercede unless you take action.
  2. Bosses revenge: Review the cost of approaching your boss. What might be the fallout? Is there a chance of getting fired? Transferred? Taunted by peers because your boss has a tendency to talk too much? The best case scenario is that you resolve the problem and live happily ever after in an otherwise toxic environment. Worst case? Be sure you know the possibilities as part of your planning.
  3. Malpractice of the Mouth: Take control. If you want to reduce conflict and increase cooperation consider keeping an open mind, turn off your self-talk, stop talking, and most importantly, ask questions.  Use the fogging technique by saying, “You may be right. Help me understand where you are coming from.” Then listen!
  4. Respond, don’t react: Responding is learned. Reacting is knee jerking.  Responding resolves conflict. Reacting makes it worse. Responding is hard and is used by successful people. Reacting is easy and used by lazy people.
  5. Pledge: I promise to identify toxic behavior, apply new skills, and NEVER use excuses. I continue to practice, even after I have failed. I am never the Toxic Person.  I stay calm, and do not lose my temper. I never take a Toxic Person’s behavior personally or seek retribution. I keep my power by maintaining control. I create my own environment that nurtures my success. I am the master of my future, my stress level, and my own behavio

If you don’t love your job, find a new one. Understand that YOU are the one in charge of your relationships, motivation, happiness and future.

ROI vs. ROC: Does Character Count?


This information from The Harvard Business Review was too good not to pass on. According to the studies in this article, companies that have Leaders that display integrity, responsibility, forgiveness and compassion character have a better Return on Investment.

Daniel Goleman’s book, Primal Leadership, is also a great backbone for improving the perception of character in leaders. He identifies the six different leadership styles and how they can be used.  The success of his information is the flexibility of the person in the managerial position and the willingness to apply Emotional Intelligence in everything they do.

Six Quick Tips to Improve Communications


Here are six quick reminders to create better communications. Please feel free to pass these on.

  1.  Use the assertive communication model:
    1. Acknowledge what the other person is saying
    2. Take personal responsibility in delivering your message by using “I” language.  Tell them what YOU need, want, think, etc.
    3. When possible, give them two choices you can live with and let them choose.  Then they have skin in the game
    4. Become a better listener and communicate from their point of view, not yours.
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