Do you feel as though you’re held hostage by one or more of your team members?
This could be a challenging question to ask yourself and an even more difficult one to answer truthfully. No one wants to admit they’re at the mercy of another. It’s vital, though, to the success of your business.
The feeling of being held hostage by anyone or anything is an uncomfortable one, to say the least. When faced with this reality, business owners and managers often believe they’re powerless to change their circumstances — that they’re at the mercy of the team members and the situation. They believe if these team members were to leave or be let go, the business would suffer or couldn’t function effectively.
This need not be the case.
Every company has team members who hold positions critical to daily operations. While these individuals might fill important roles, they also could contribute to a negative work environment. They might not fully support the company philosophy, objectives and goals. In fact, they could hinder the progress of the organization through their bad attitudes, lack of engagement, gossip and dishonesty — to name only a few issues.
It’s not uncommon for business owners and managers to feel they’re held hostage by one or more team members who play key roles. They believe these individuals possess sensitive information and perform vital functions. Letting them go or taking any action that might upset them would leave the company in a vulnerable or even desperate position.
This is only a belief, however. And beliefs of this type must be changed to free their operations from toxic team members and experience more happiness and success.
If you feel held hostage by one or more team members, considering bringing in a professional to work with you and the team member or members who need development or to be let go. Hiring a coach or consultant who’s objective and well-equipped to help you deal with these sensitive situations constitutes a wise investment.
People are commonly held hostage by their own limiting beliefs. A qualified professional can help you, your managers and team members develop empowering beliefs and effective strategies that better position the company for growth and success.
Sometimes, a team member can change once they’re aware what they’re doing isn’t beneficial or acceptable. This isn’t always the case, though. It’s important to understand there will be instances in which team members remain unwilling or unable to change, even with high caliber coaching and training. Then it must be determined whether or not a team member constitutes a good fit for the company.
In my 17 years as a business coach and consultant, it’s always been a positive choice to set free those team members who have no interest in learning, growing or aligning with company values, missions and directions.
They don’t really want to be there, anyway. These individuals aren’t happy with their jobs and would likely leave on their own if they didn’t also feel held hostage by their circumstances. These team members are often limited by their beliefs about their career options outside of their current jobs, their ability to find other jobs they’d like and personal financial needs.
The businesses I work with have, without exception, improved their situations by letting go team members who are unwilling to learn, change their destructive behaviors and grow with the company. Moreover, the team members who were let go typically found greater happiness and success elsewhere.
When business owners, managers and team members believe they’re held hostage by their professional reality, fear becomes the main force at work. As effective actions are taken to manage and even eliminate fear, a win-win situation emerges for both business and team members. Whether the team member adjusts and stays or doesn’t change and leaves, a decision is made and businesses and team members are free to pursue the success and happiness they desire.
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This article was written for and published in collaboration with The Business Times newspaper. Access the article here.