Seven Ways Leaders and Managers Inadvertently De-motivate their People

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Well-intended behaviors like delegating and seeking feedback can turn into major messages of distrust when not handled skillfully by leaders and managers. A new article by executive coach and author David Peck spells out no cost, high value solutions that solve this problem.

In his new article entitled, “Seven Ways Leaders Inadvertently Say, I Don’t Trust You,” executive coach and author David Peck pointed out on his Recovering Leader blog that bosses are de-motivating their people every day, without even knowing how or why.

“Far too many leaders and managers inadvertently do things every day that send the message they distrust even their best people,” Peck said. He added, “For example, when you override or ignore your people’s input, it’s best to tell them why—and to have a good reason. Otherwise, you may unintentionally signal you don’t trust the quality or insightfulness of their ideas.”

Like this example, Peck enumerates seven areas of potential distrust messages managers tend to send, and offers executives a variety of ways to catch and correct such behavior:

1. Hovering, nitpicking, micro-editing, telling rather than asking

2. Telling people what to do AND how to do it

3. Assigning work without offering enough context

4. Taking authority for decision-making too far up the chain

5. Being overly protective / not allowing even small but instructive failures

6. Overriding input or feedback without explanation or follow up

7. Taking the spotlight, instead of showcasing the people who did the work

Such behavior is all too common, according to Peck, whose practice includes senior executives across industries and organizations. He added, “Eliminating inadvertent behaviors that say, 'I don’t trust you,' is a no-cost, high-value way to increase the odds they will consistently do their best work.”

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David Peck

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