Everyone can think of a time during their career when the leaders that they were exposed to were not exhibiting the most positive or supportive of leadership styles. Lee (2012) identifies negative leadership as a catalyst in ongoing instances of work place harassment, low employee motivation and high turnover rates among employees. Using established resources, outstanding leadership behaviors will be explored using proven leadership philosophy, such as mentoring. Additionally, to strengthen poor leadership behaviors, suggestions of diversity or communication training, would be appropriate.
I was working as a collector in a highly successful collection department at a large financial institution in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s in Arizona. I was very successful and respected for my work ethic and results with groups of problem accounts. Ultimately, a new manager was hired into the department and introduced to all the team members. This manager was friendly, outgoing, and engaged with the members of the team, stepping right into the leadership role. There were many encouraging meetings in the office with the team as well as after work during more social interactions.
Inevitably, a team member advised this new manager that I was gay. While I have always been out at work, I rarely made a point of discussing my home life at the office. After being presented with this information, the manager’s demeanor changed overnight towards me. The manager routinely criticized me for tasks and procedures that had always been performed successful before, invitations to any outside work activity that the manager initiated were discontinued, there were “write-ups” for infractions t...
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...ting work place environment. Allowing the manager to simply move on to the next assignment without addressing the glaring challenges in leadership abilities does not serve anyone involved.
Negative leadership can result in a hostile work environment, stress and harassment of team members for any number of reasons. Leaders who ignore harassment or encourage a negative working environment by participating in harassment are displaying negative leadership behaviors. Removing a poor leader from their position can provide a quick fix to a bad situation, but it does not allow the leader or the team to learn to work together. Providing leadership with the appropriate tools, encouraging a top-down supportive work environment and expecting conformity to company harassment policies is crucial to having a cohesive and happy team in a pleasant working atmosphere.
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