Here’s five ways that leaders encourage irresponsibility within their teams and how to avoid them. It doesn’t matter what size or type of team these five things can undermine the effectiveness, productivity and morale of your team.
5 Ways Leaders Encourage Irresponsibility
1. Jumping in too quickly.
Leaders encourage irresponsibility by rushing in too early. They send out two very clear messages; they’re incapable or irresponsible. Build your teams confidence by allowing them to work through problems they encounter. If they need you they know where to find you.
2. Blowing failures out of proportion.
Leaders encourage irresponsibility by exploding and displaying irrational reactions about failures. When they do they’re teaching people to hide their mistakes. Help your team be more transparent by keeping a cool head. Keep the door open by listening to them without overreacting. You’ll be able to learn from the experience and help them fix the problem much quicker.
3. Shielding people from consequences.
Leaders encourage irresponsibility by shielding people from the consequences of making wrong decisions. While you shouldn’t “throw them under the bus”, you should require them to correct the issue. Allow your team members to feel the weight of wrong decisions. It will help them to make better decisions in the future and create a stronger team environment.
4. Micro-managing every detail.
Leaders encourage irresponsibility by constantly hovering over their team members. If they must consult you on every decision it bypasses the entire purpose of responsibility. It is demeaning to the individual on a number of levels and undermines their productivity. Encourage your team by giving general instructions on smaller projects and committing the bulk of your time to managing larger concerns.
5. Tolerating persistently poor performance.
Leaders encourage irresponsibility and become an enabler by allowing team members to continually display unacceptable patterns. When they do so, they are perpetuating the problem and destroying the morale of others. Teach your team to hold to higher standards by addressing patterns of negligence fairly and yet quickly. But, be mindful that poor performance might indicate that a team member is dealing issues, either at work or in their personal lives. This could signal that other action needs to be taken to help them be a productive member of the team.