Do You Need to Stop This Trust-Breaking Pattern?

Are you a nice boss?

Maybe too nice?

Does this sound remotely familiar? Ninety-five percent of the time you show your confidence in your team’s judgment and initiative by giving them a lot of latitude. You know most people chafe at being micromanaged, and you swore you’d never be that kind of boss.

But you also notice that the rules get bent a little too far a little too often.

You feel disrespected, and despite your best efforts to stay true to your anti-micromanager philosophy, you find yourself at a breaking point. You’re resentful. Maybe a little passive-aggressive. Or you might be the boomerang-blowup type, putting your now-cowering team into lockdown. And then everybody feels discouraged, agitated and undermined.

Worse, you feel ineffective and you worry your team no longer trusts you, or likes you. So you cycle back into leniency, and after a couple of awkward days, things start to normalize.

Until the rule-bending, foot-dragging and frustration starts up again.

What if you could forever change your trust-breaking pattern of extremes?

James, a manager at an accounting firm, did just that when he signed up for my new Unleash Your Strengths Jump-Start Session.

  • an in-depth 30-minute online assessment
  • a professional review of assessment results
  • a private 75-minute phone session to develop effective strategies to begin using immediately

In less than 2 hours, James understood how his well-intended flexibility was tying him in knots of niceness, and thanks to his Jump-Start Session, he walked away with a practical and thoughtful strategy for untangling the knots.

How James Used His Strengths to Nix Trust-Breaking Patterns &
Build an Accountable, Respectful Team

James saw that his boss’s unrelenting focus on the bottom line led to staff burnout and disengagement because they felt like replaceable cogs in a machine. James’s antidote was to compensate by doing everything he could to be the opposite, to be the nice boss.

But he was the too nice boss.

  • He had a perpetually open door.
  • He bought lunch for the office.
  • He corrected people’s work for them.
  • He approved multiple requests for flex-time.
  • He looked the other way when deadlines were missed.

Sooner or later, James would begin to feel taken advantage of, and when he switched gears and tried to enforce the rules, his staff ignored him and refused to do what he asked. He was left with disappointment and a nagging worry that his staff would quit because they didn’t like him.

In his Jump-Start Session, James and I discovered that two of his best-of-self strengths, kindness and love of learning, were the keys to creating a new approach to his leadership.

Now James uses his innate kindness constructively.

  • He holds staff members accountable for deadlines.
  • He points out when the quality of their work needs improvement.
  • He takes time to guide staff members as they learn new skills.
  • He gives recognition to people’s best efforts when he meets with them.

James is building up the reserves of trust in his staff – and they in him.

To keep his own momentum moving forward, every day at the close of business, he asks, “What I am learning about how I am leading now? How can I use this tomorrow?”

Start Writing Your Success Story
By Scheduling Your Unleash Your Strengths Jump-Start Session Today

Stop trust-breaking patterns. Anchor your leadership in your strengths. Lead with confidence.

Sign up in the next 20 days to get my special pricing of $147 (a $250 value).

Jump in now! Scheduling for my Jump-Start Sessions ends March 31 and won’t be offered again until midsummer.

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Here’s to the best in you,


PS: Here’s what James says about his new approach: “I now understand how my strengths interrelate and I found a way to use my two key strengths. Creating opportunities for my staff to be accountable shows I believe in and value them, and that makes things better for everyone.” James C.

PPS: Next week I’ll share my own story of how using best-of-self strengths transformed my career and birthed a business


Are You Being Nice or Kind? (and why the difference matters)

Today I met with, Bridget, a savvy woman with a business that’s buzzing along and a great big heart. On the surface everything is great in her world, but in a fundamental way it’s not.

Bridget, is treading water, waiting for the time when the sea of people in her life to stop bashing against the cliffs of their choices and experiences, so she doesn’t have to save them any longer.

It’s time to remember what my own dreams are.  To stop of putting myself, needs and expectations so far in the background they nearly disappear in an undefined dull gray mass.

Through the years of taking care of everyone, Bridget’s been strong, giving and accommodating. Other words, She’s been nice. Really, really nice.

But not always kind. Kind to herself and others by voicing her needs and asking that they be met, just as she has done for her family and friends.

Being Kind is . . .

Kind is being compassionate, generous and caring enough to extend a hand when needed and to say what must be said. Even when it’s hard and the easier, nicer, route would be to bottle things up and not say anything.

You can’t bottle things up forever and still be authentically generous and caring, never mind compassionate.

The Shadow Side of Being Nice

Bridgett isn’t the first person who through inadvertently falls into the trap of feeling guilty for wanting to put her needs first, because “nice women don’t do that.”

Nice people are polite and dutiful and considerate, which is important, admirable and appropriate.  To a point. Always squelching your frustration, anger or disappointment, not giving voice to them is a route to resentment.

Nor is she the first person to feel responsible for someone else’s happiness and so holds her tongue when she shouldn’t, because she doesn’t want to the other person to feel bad.

Maybe something in this story sound familiar to you?

Taking on the responsibilities for someone else emotions is not helping them.

Own your part in a situation, and own your feelings. Apologize when it’s right to do. Offer your time when it can truly be support and not a crutch –for you or them.

You’re responsible for your actions, thoughts and feelings.  Take on someone else’s and you’ve erased boundaries, piled more on then your share, and that too is a route to resentment.

Practice being Kind

The next time you are feeling sad, mad, embarrassed, frustrated, resentful, instead of blasting someone or clamming up do this.

Take a breath. Gather your thoughts. Figure out what is underlying your feeling, there’s need of yours that’s not being met.  Screw up your courage to say what needs to be said. And say it, clearly concisely and as calmly as you can. Remember even when it’s hard that is better than being nice, it’s kind.

A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions. . .

“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.” – Lawrence Lovasik

Spreading kindness always generates more kindness. Let’s make the most of this holiday season and spread some kindness around.