Arrogant Managers and their counter productive behaviours!!

Article by Dr. Pratik P SURANA (Ph.D.)

Chief Mentor and Founder

Quantum Group

pratiks@qicpl.com

pratiks@quantumtrainings.com

ps@bodhisattvalearning.com

Employees cowered. One assembler was in tears. Fear gripped workers on the floor of the hi-tech assembly plant when their boss went into the attack mode. Ugly words spewed out of their manager’s mouth as he publicly shouted out “you’re so incredibly stupid I’m going to scream.” This was followed by taunts of “imbecile,” “dust brain,” and “I’m stunned by your worthlessness.” Employees seemed to physically shrink at their spots on the assembly line as a deadly silence of 10 seconds was followed by another onslaught of abusive language from the bully boss.

A manager’s words can slay, belittle, diminish and demoralize. Some superiors take advantage of their power and authority by going into full combat and assault mode.

Arrogance is characterized by a pattern of behavior that demeans others in an attempt to prove competence and superiority. This behavior is correlated with lower intelligence scores and lower self-esteem when compared to managers who are not arrogant.

“Does your boss demonstrate different behaviors with subordinates and supervisors?” . He says a “yes” answer could mean trouble. It’s a warning that “yes” replies to these other questions raise red flags and signal arrogance.

Lack Of Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage not only one’s own emotions but also to empathize with and manage others’ emotions.

Leaders with low emotional intelligence become their own worst enemies. When they are in a bad mood, frustrated or stressed, it creates tension in the office. While they may not become physically violent, their words and actions may destroy an otherwise safe atmosphere, undermining creativity, innovation and performance. Lack of emotional intelligence hits the bottom line annually to the tune of $400 billion in lost productivity.

Inability To Share Credit

A key component to good leadership is selflessness. A quote that’s been attributed to multiple people, including Ronald Reagan, says it best: “There is no limit to what a man can accomplish if he doesn’t care who gets the credit.” Managers who fail to recognize this and take all the credit for their employees’ hard work will find that they lose the trust of those team members

Here are some signs to recognise the behaviours

  • Does your boss put his/her personal agenda ahead of the organization’s agenda?
  • Does the boss discredit others’ ideas during meetings and often make them look bad?
  • Does your boss reject constructive feedback?
  • Does the boss exaggerate his/her superiority and make others feel inferior?

It has been described in a better manner here:

Effect on morale

Left unchecked, arrogant leaders can be a destructive force within an organization, notes Silverman. With power over their employees’ work assignments, promotion opportunities and performance reviews, arrogant bosses put subordinates in a helpless position. They do not mentor junior colleagues nor do they motivate a team to benefit the organization as a whole, contributing to a negative social workplace atmosphere.

Silverman says that arrogance is less a personality trait than a series of behaviors, which can be addressed through coaching if the arrogant boss is willing to change. He recommends that organizations incorporate an assessment of arrogance into the employee review and performance management process.

Silverman emphasizes that cultivating humility among leaders and promoting a learning-oriented work climate go far in reducing arrogance and increasing productive leadership and employee social interaction.


How to identify this? Is there a measurement:

Scientists have developed a new tool which they claim can help organisations to identify arrogant bosses before they have a costly and damaging impact on the company.

According to researchers, arrogant bosses can drain the bottom line because they are typically poor performers who cover up their insecurities by disparaging subordinates, leading to organisational dysfunction and employee turnover

A new measure of arrogance, called ‘The Workplace Arrogance Scale’ (WARS) has been developed by researchers at The University of Akron and Michigan.

“Does your boss demonstrate different behaviors with subordinates and supervisors” asks Stanley Silverman, dean of UA’s Summit University Colleges.

He says a “yes” answer could mean trouble.

Silverman warns that “yes” replies to these other questions raise red flags and signal arrogance.

“Does your boss put his/her personal agenda ahead of the organisation’s agenda Does the boss discredit others’ ideas during meetings and often make them look bad Does your boss reject constructive feedback Does the boss exaggerate his/her superiority and make others feel inferior” Silverman asked.

The Workplace Arrogance Scale (WARS) will be presented at the American Psychological Association convention in Orlando on August 2.

Arrogance is characterised by a pattern of behaviour that demeans others in an attempt to prove competence and superiority.

Silverman says this behaviour is correlated with lower intelligence scores and lower self-esteem when compared to managers who are not arrogant.

Left unchecked, arrogant leaders can be a destructive force within an organisation, notes Silverman. With power over their employees’ work assignments, promotion opportunities and performance reviews, arrogant bosses put subordinates in a helpless position.

They do not mentor junior colleagues nor do they motivate a team to benefit the organization as a whole, contributing to a negative social workplace atmosphere.

Silverman says that arrogance is less a personality trait than a series of behaviors, which can be addressed through coaching if the arrogant boss is willing to change.

So what should be the ideal behaviour:

Here are 10 things true leaders do:

1. They listen to their team members.

2. They coach employees rather than threatening them with a poor performance review or dismissal.

3. They trust their employees to do their jobs without close supervision.

4. They are open to and grateful for new ideas.

5. They encourage their teammates.

6. They bring important issues to senior leadership to be dealt with. They are not afraid to broach sticky or politically-sensitive topics — or maybe they are afraid, but they do it anyway.

7. They thank and acknowledge their team members.

8. They inspire people to do great things.

9. They hire people who are skilled in areas they’re not skilled in.

10. They lead through trust, rather than fear.

Unfortunately, there are plenty of managers around who manage in just the opposite way.

They manage through fear.

Who else do we know that uses fear to get their way? Bullies do it! Most of us have been dealing with bullies since we were little kids.

We can recognize a fearful, weak manager when we run into one because they remind us of schoolyard bullies we knew years ago.

A true leader doesn’t bully anyone. They don’t need to, and they wouldn’t dream of it. It would beneath them to threaten or harangue their employees.

Fake leaders bully people all the time. They don’t have the muscles to manage any other way. They are weak.

It doesn’t take strength to yell at people, write them up or blame them for mistakes.

It doesn’t take courage to boss people around when the organizational chart gives you the power to do that. It is the height of cowardice to manage a team with the presumption that they have to listen to you, because of your job title relative to theirs.

That isn’t leadership! That is letting your job title do the job for you.

Managers who bluster and threaten people are weak.

Maybe your weak manager will experience a powerful life event that will turn their head around, but I wouldn’t recommend that you hold your breath waiting for that to happen.

Your best bet is to launch a job search and get out from under a weak manager.

Your flame will never grow as high as it can grow when you work under someone whose greatest fear is that one day, you will find your voice.

WARS Source:

Materials provided by University of Akron. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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Reach me at pratiks@quantumtrainings.com

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