What Happens When Your Ego Takes Over As Leader.
Have you ever had “Ego” as your boss? You know who he is because he is the one who is so self-absorbed that even when you give him direct feedback about his behavior, he doesn’t actually think you’re talking about him. Well, I have worked for many “Egos” and where there is “Ego” there is chaos, stress, and a lot of resentment. You always know the “Ego” is the boss when you see employees walking away from a team meeting with “resting bitch faces.” The “Ego” has no self awareness, is not inclusive of team members in his goals, cannot truly listen to others, and finds itself to always be right. In essence the “Ego” is a poor communicator and is probably the main reason why your company’s bottom line is suffering. The good news is: beyond the “Ego” is probably a great leader waiting to emerge! He just needs to learn some tools like mindful meditation & storytelling craft to help him put his “Ego” in check, stand in his authentic truth, and consciously communicate his mission and goal to his team.
I used to work for a medical device company and the CEO was a genius. I was impressed by her credentials and her mission to want to revolutionize how diabetics check their blood-sugar levels. The only problem was she could never keep employees. Only after 3 months, I started to experience the horror of working for someone who had zero self-awareness. Back then, I just thought of her as an arrogant monster. She conducted her meetings without ever listening to the team. Her instructions felt purposefully unclear, and when she wanted to compliment us, it felt more like a manipulation. There was always a disconnect with what she was saying and how the words landed on me.
After every meeting there would be a feverish texting back and forth between every team member who had been in the meeting. We would send comments like, “What did she say? Did I hear her right? I need to find a new job.” The worst was that she had no clue that her team was not motivated, and that individuals were doing things to purposefully sabotage her efforts. The ineffective way she communicated was not just a matter of clarity, but offensive. It’s no wonder that on a certain employer review site, the company only received a rating of 3 out of 5 stars, with one employee offering this recent advice to management: “Have a clear goal, communicate it, and actually follow through.” I left the company in 2009. Unfortunately, not much has changed.
If your organization is losing money, if you have a high employee turnover rate, and if things seem to not be getting done, I invite you to first look at the effectiveness of your communication skills. Ask yourselves these 3 questions:
Do I take responsibility for what is not being heard?
Did I listen to my audience? (Listening isn’t necessarily literal with your ears, but includes shifts in body language & facial expressions.)
Do I pay respect to other people’s opinions?
If the answer is “no” for any of the three questions, you might have a communication issue. Take action. Whether you work with us, or other communication experts, you need an outsider to assess the problem and help you identify the pain points that puts the health of your organization in jeopardy. Sometimes big problems can be solved with a simple solution: imagine if you can save your company millions of dollars just by simply improving your skills in talking to people.