Dealing with a difficult leader

by Matt
(Auckland, NZ)

I feel as though at times my leader feels intimidated by me. This person says directive negative comments under their breath around our team but seems very friendly and attentive when we're one on one.

What advice would you give in this situation for my own personal leadership and the working relationship I have with my leader.


Firstly, thanks for the question Matt. That is a very tricky one to answer and I can give you some advice but ultimately you have to do what you feel is appropriate in the situation.

Obviously this isn't an ideal situation for you and if it happened to me I would be wanting to pull my hair out because that's not good leadership on their part!

I'll always insist that honesty is the best policy in these kind of situations as I don't believe in mind games or unspoken issues. If they're good one-on-one then I would strongly suggest addressing it with them in a private setting and communicate how you feel very clearly and honestly. You don't know the motivation or reason for this leadership behaviour but You have the choice in how to respond.

When you've done that; work towards the end result you desire (Assuming you want them to stop) and ask if they could stop doing it as its a negative leadership habit.

Good leaders will always listen and if acceptable will alter their behaviour when they know it's having a negative impact. Of course this is ideal and most leaders out there are not ideal leaders.

You could look at speaking to their leader/manager if appropriate to address the situation with your oversight. This is only a step to be taken after you've spoken to your leader though as it has a very negative stigma. Or if that didn't suit you then you could just let it go over you (if you feel like you could cope with it and feel ok in the long term) but it all depends on you!

Try speaking to them and if it's not resolved and you need more guidence come back here and comment on this question and i'll take you through some other options.

Thanks for the question.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Leadership FAQ.