Obsessive, overachieving managers can claim credit for myriad workplace advancements, however, compulsive managers are prone to blind spots.

I see it all the time in the work I do coaching individuals: compulsive managers—managers with emphatic behavior driven by an intense internal focus—are unaware of the personal difficulties they cause their people. And these managers can be found in much of today’s corporate culture that places a high value on accomplishment and productivity. Ultimately, compulsive managers need to address their blind spots.

What I have found is that when employees’ feelings or needs go unaddressed, morale, engagement and unity suffer heavy blows. Consequently, work quality suffers, thereby fostering further unfortunate leadership responses. This downward spiral feeds upon itself.

Diminished team performance makes it harder for compulsive leaders to maintain their image of success, and the pressure affects everyone. Managers with a one-track mind blame their employees for any problems, with no idea that the true source is much closer.

A coach can help steer compulsive managers away from damaging habits and toward healthier ones by posing some introspective questions:

  • Can you get in touch with your feelings? Why not?
  • Do you believe your people have no feelings?
  • How do you think people respond when their feelings go unaddressed? What does the eventual outcome look like?
  • How is a person’s true value determined? Is it task related?
  • What would happen if you slowed down? What’s the likelihood of this result?
  • What’s so devastating about failure? Can anything be learned from it?
  • Are you ever concerned about burning out? How could burnout affect your management abilities?
  • How has striving for recognition helped you?
  • What signs would indicate your people don’t trust you? Would it bother you to miss these signs?

Working through these issues and reframing their mindset can help compulsive managers recognize trouble spots and potential remedies.

What do you think? How might answering these questions reveal your blind spots? How would it improve your management? I’d love to hear from you. You can call me at 561-582-6060; let’s talk. And as always, I can be reached here or on LinkedIn.

Leave a Comment