So I was sitting in on a staff meeting for a local non-profit organization, just doing some observing and whatnot. One of the key leaders on the team asked a question to the big boss in charge. Now, let me first say that the question that this key leader asked was not the best, nor was it the right time to bring it up. However, I say that to set up the re-sponse given by the big boss. Instead of deflecting the question or telling the key leader to get with her after the meeting, or any of a million other ways to respond, she just lit into this guy. I mean she showed no mercy, telling him that it was none of his business to ask the question that he did, that he was out of line, that he had no right to even be think-ing about that particular question. And the thing is… she was right on with her assess-ment.
What she got wrong was the way she handled the situation. And not even really because of the impact it would have on that key leader. Who it really affected were all the other young and up-and-coming leaders in the room. They all saw the way that the big boss treated a senior leader on staff, someone who had been with the company for years. And I mean she just ripped into this guy! So, what am I saying? As a leader, you are going to hear a lot of asinine stuff from your staff. And it is the most frustrating to hear it from someone who knows better than to bring stuff up, as this key leader did in this instance. However, that does not give you the right as the big boss to act like that… ever.
My question is: How do you handle situations like this? If you want to be an effective leader then you should really check your response mechanism to see if you are handling your bidness. Ask around… sincerely. You may be surprised with the feedback – good or bad.