You have the ability to totally demoralize your team.
What you say and what you do can either motivate or dishearten your team. Unfortunately, some leaders, whether intentionally or unintentionally, choose the former rather than the latter.
So how does this happen? How can you destroy your team’s morale? Here are seven ways to demoralize your team and what to do instead:
- Micromanage. Instead, empower your team to do their job. Provide the vision and let them chase it.
- Always go with your idea. Instead, let them challenge your ideas. And make sure that they share and challenge their own ideas as well. In a prior post, I showed how you can develop your team’s idea output.
- Never congratulate. Instead, point out the successes of the team and individual team members. This encourages your team to continue to strive for success. Sometimes the biggest motivator is a simple, “Well done.”
- Use fear. Instead, be thoughtful in the ways you motivate. Fear can motivate, but it is short-lived and creates burnout. Great leaders motivate by creating a desire for success rather than a fear of failure.
- Pull rank. Instead, point to the larger vision. Don’t be a “Because I said so” leader. Instead, be a “Because the view on that mountaintop is worth it” leader.
- Discredit or steal credit. Instead, give credit where credit is due. Pointing out others successes is a sign of a stable and confident leader. Shine the spotlight on your team and its members.
- Minimize their role. Instead, talk about their significance. Talk about how vital they are to you and the organization. Make sure they know that your success is found in them being successful.
Leaders are stewards of people. It is a weighty responsibility. Because of this, we must carefully consider the impact of our actions and words on those God entrusts us to steward well.
Steward your team well by strengthening and encouraging your team, not demoralizing them.