Am I a Passive-Aggressive Boss?

Passive aggressive behavior is immobilizing our teams. It’s the ultimate example of unproductive conflict destroying team effectiveness.  Unfortunately, the worst offenders are the team leaders who either let it continue or actively support it. 

I have written about passive aggressive teams in posts before.  Check out: How to recognize you’re on a passive aggressive team; and What to do if a team member gossips to me.

I haven’t really taken aim at team leaders and their role in passive aggressive behavior.  Lately, I’ve seen a few examples that have made me think leaders need to give their heads a shake on this one.

In this post, I’ll help you figure out if you’ve got a passive aggressive problem.  In the next post, I’ll help you fix it.

You are aiding and abetting passive aggressive behavior if…

  • you allow decisions to be re-opened without bringing them back to the team
  • you let certain team members dominate discussions so dissenting opinions are pushed outside the room
  • you allow team members to come to you to complain about their teammates
  • you turn a blind eye to team members who ignore or fail to implement team decisions

You are participating in passive aggressive behavior if…

  • you blame organizational changes or difficult decisions on levels above you
  • you state your disagreement with a team member’s ideas indirectly or ambiguously
  • you use humor to deflect a sensitive point (I see this all the time from team leaders)
  • you say nothing when the team performs poorly while inwardly becoming very frustrated 

Did you see yourself in any of these descriptions?  Would members of your team say these are true? 

If so, you are a part of the passive aggressive problem on your team.  You need to make a decision.
There is an obligation that comes with leadership.  That means sometimes you are going to have to do something that’s difficult. 

Here’s your homework.  Go to this page and download The Leadership Contract by Vince Molinaro .  As you read it, ask yourself whether you’re ready to start acting like a leader.

If so, tune in to my next post where I’ll give you the right words to start fixing your passive aggressive behavior.