Being in a leadership position does not necessarily mean that one has sufficient management skills. Leaders are often not trained in how to supervise or to deal with an issue that is so complex, complicated, and one that is as covert as persistent workplace aggression.
The ability to self-reflect on one’s behavior and role as a leader is a valuable skill in addressing persistent workplace aggression. Being able to self-reflect allows a leader to examine their role as a leader and to adapt as needed. Self-reflection permits the leader to objectively view the environment and to determine the best course of action in dealing with this issue. Self-reflection includes having the ability to take in information from their workers. This consists of listening when there are allegations of persistent workplace aggression.
It also should incorporate hearing what others have to say about the abilities of their leader. Self-reflection involves examining the skills and impact their leadership is having on the organization. For example, I might think I am doing a great job, but I continue to hear that I do not actively listen or that I tend to say one thing and do another. If, as the leader, I am perceived as not hearing what is being said, I need to change my behavior to ensure that my workers know they are being heard.
One of the common errors that a leader may make is assuming that because they are in charge, they are immune from mistakes and that their way is the only way. Admitting to fault, in leadership roles, is often seen as a weakness. However, the exact opposite is true. Being able to acknowledge, as a leader, that miscalculations may have been made provides the leader to role model good workplace behavior. This is crucial for a leader where persistent workplace aggression is occurring. The leader needs to show the behavior that is expected not just talk about it.
Good leaders ask for help and guidance in situations that fall outside of their area of expertise.
Good leaders have an understanding that their position does not mean that they are prepared or proficient to deal with every situation including persistent workplace aggression.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help in dealing with persistent workplace aggression.