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Stay Alert! These 5 People May Destroy Your Business

Stay Alert! These 5 People May Destroy Your Business

As humans, we are all liable to experience emotional peaks and troughs throughout our lives. This is an inescapable consequence of life–our emotional state is heavily influenced by those around us. According to a 2010 study conducted by the Proceedings of the Royal Society, every positive person that you include in your life increases your chances of being happy by 11%. In contrast, it only takes one sad friend or acquaintance to upset this balance and make you unhappy, so your choice of friends and confidants is critically important.

This principle can also be applied to your business, where the people that you employ and partner with have a huge impact on future success or failure. With this in mind, you need to beware of the following five personality types and their potential to destroy your business:

1. The Flat-track Bully

As a general rule, bullies are loud, aggressive and outwardly confident individuals who are have an ability to initially stand out from the crowd and earn recognition from their superiors. This is why they are such a danger to your business: they have a tendency to create a positive impression on employers while distressing their colleagues and having a negative impact on productivity. As these individuals progress at the expense of others and gain greater authority, your business will begin to deteriorate beneath your very nose.

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The biggest issue with bullies is that they are often unable to do their job particularly well, especially those who advance into management roles. Once afforded authority, bullies are likely to wield this in a discriminating manner and target weaker or more skilled colleagues in a bid to undermine their confidence. This will cause your business to lose top talent and experience reduced productivity levels, while it will also fall prey to an increase in stress-related illness in the workplace. To avoid this personality type, you must understand their behavior in detail while also ensuring that your employees have a clear definition of what constitutes bullying and how to report it.

2. The Resentful Former Colleague

Occasionally, you may be required to employ individuals that you do not like. While this may sound strange, there are times where you must sacrifice personal feelings in order to optimize top talent and drive your business forward. This is most likely to occur as your launch your start-up venture, since building a successful venture requires you to maximize every possible resource at your disposal. So if you have a former colleague with considerable skill in their field and the ability to help your business grow, you may need to approach them regardless of your personal relationship.

This is a balancing act, however, as a deep dislike for another human being can create mistrust and considerable tension over time. The effects of this can be diverse and extremely impactful, whether attempting to manage a difficult relationship distracts you from achieving your business goals, or the employee in question begins to resent your superior status and develops a sense of indifference to the future of the firm. Try to consider this balance before taking such an individual on, weighing the potential cost to the business against the value that the individual can bring. It may well be that you are simply too alike, in which case the issues can be resolved through learning and communication.

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3. The Ambitious Self-server

There are a number of reasons why stable businesses fail and become insolvent, with one of the most common being the poor retention of talented employees. It is with this in mind that you must beware of ambitious self-servers, as these characters are similar to bullies in that they will often strive to get ahead at the expense of others rather than through their own merit. While bullies use their aggression to force mistakes from their colleagues and report these to management, an ambitious self-server is far more likely to influence senior colleagues directly through charm and persuasion.

Given that this personality type are only interested in their own advancement as opposed to the progression of the business, this often leads to poor and misplaced decision making on your behalf. This can have a huge impact on the retention of talented employees, as some may be unfairly let go while others simply choose to leave the company and work for an employer that respects ability and application rather than charm. To avoid this, you need to take ownership of each individual business decision and make choices based on fixed criteria.

4. The Narcissist

Teamwork makes the dream work, right? After all, businesses thrive on the collaboration between diverse and skilled teams which combine multiple strengths in the pursuit of a single, professional goal. While most personality types can thrive when given a role in a team of people, one that struggles in this regard is the narcissist. These individuals are always more consumed with themselves than with their team-mates or the business as a whole, meaning that they often fail to take direct action when working with others.

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While narcissists will not necessarily employ underhand tactics to further themselves, they are almost always arrogant and lack empathy for the people around them. This makes it extremely unlikely that they would work late to cover an absence or take on additional work to help complete a project, unless, of course, this would result in some form of individual recognition or individual reward. If you do discover a narcissist within your ranks, strive to utilize their self-serving motivation by giving them individual roles in which they can shape their own destiny (such as a commission-based sales job). This will turn a threat into an asset and help to maximize the talent at your disposal.

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    5. The Negative Energy Sapper

    Let’s face facts: there are some people in life who possess a decidedly negative energy. Whether this is part of their innate personality or the result of experience, such negativity can become consuming when it is projected onto your decisions and business management. This is debilitating for any business, as it encourages decisions that are made out of fear and conservatism rather than sound commercial logic and the fundamental balance between risk and reward. Just as aggression and recklessness in business can lead to losses, so too negativity can cause firms to stagnate slowly over time.

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    The impact of negativity is also felt more substantially throughout the whole of the business, since it begins to alter the outlook of individual employees and creates incredibly low morale. This can ultimately lead to the loss of core human assets and talented employees, while also driving down productivity and making it difficult to effectively engage customers. While negative individuals are often unaware of their impact and are not necessarily at fault for the way in which they think, you should avoid hiring those with excessive amounts of negative energy if you wish to develop and expand your venture.

    Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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    Last Updated on March 29, 2021

    5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

    5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

    When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

    What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

    The Dream Type Of Manager

    My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

    I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

    My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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    “Okay…”

    That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

    I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

    The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

    The Bully

    My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

    However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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    The Invisible Boss

    This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

    It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

    The Micro Manager

    The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

    Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

    The Over Promoted Boss

    The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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    You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

    The Credit Stealer

    The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

    Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

    3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

    Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

    1. Keep evidence

    Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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    Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

    Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

    2. Hold regular meetings

    Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

    3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

    Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

    However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

    Good luck!

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