- -Do you fail to listen and interrupt your team members constantly?
- -Do you ignore others’ opinions when trying to brainstorm solutions?
- -Do you fail to coordinate with others and consider your impact on them?
- -Do you fail to build alignment to get everyone on the same page?
If you answered yes, you probably consider yourself a results producer and expect others to overlook your steamroller approach. Consider this story.
Joelle was looking forward to working with her new boss, Jake. During the interview, Jake asked all the right questions and said all the right things. When Joelle asked good basic questions, he appeared to listen to her by nodding his head. She was excited to accept the job offer. However, Joelle had failed to deep dive into Jake’s expectations and management style.
At the very first team meeting, Joelle experienced Jake’s true style as a boss…a steamroller. During the two hour meeting, he ignored others’ ideas. When he allowed others to speak, he vetoed them or talked over them or talked as if they hadn’t spoken. He acted like he knew the right way to do everything.
After the meeting finally ended, Joelle was exhausted. She asked one of her new team members, Jon if Jake was having a bad day. Jon shrugged his shoulders and said, “Its Jake’s normal style. At least he wasn’t yelling and blaming us for the current challenges we’re facing.”
Joelle immediately texted the recruiter and told him to find her another job pronto! She wasn’t going to work for a steamroller.
Steamrollers are considered results producers who know how to get the job done. However, they also are considered pushy people who go to great lengths to get what they want when they want it. They have the need to prove they are right about everything.
The real challenge for a steamroller boss is to learn how to reduce team frustration caused by their steamroller approach.
Managing Your Steamrolling Style
Know Thyself. If you’re a steamroller, it’s important to know why. Use objective data from scientifically validated job fit assessments. This tool allows you to discover your natural style and why teams react towards you the way they do. As a company president once stated, “There will always be breakdowns with team members. Knowing ahead of time what can happen and how to address it allows me to sleep better at night.”
Art of Talking It Out. Not listening and being a “know-it-all” hinder your teams from being top results-producers. When talking with others, it’s important for you to ask questions and listen to their responses. Build on these ideas and deep dive to ensure you understand the meaning of their comments. Be fearless when addressing conflicts and get them resolved for win-win-win outcomes.
Fix Your Own Problems. Too often steamrollers create havoc. They expect others to clean up the messes they make, particularly in relationships. It’s important YOU make the effort to learn from your mistakes. It starts by apologizing (without any excuses) and making amends.
Be Proactive, Not Highly Reactive. Steamrollers are always pushing the panic buttons because they don’t believe their teams are operating the right way. STOP! Your constant badgering and micromanaging are getting in the way. It hurts innovation and team camaraderie. Plan your work and trust others to contribute to the plan. Don’t forget to acknowledge each and every team member for their efforts.
Develop Awareness. The good news is a steamroller can produce intended results. The bad news their process can be fraught with upsets and frustrations. Steamrolling discourages team members from wanting to work with you and for you. Hire an executive coach and use a qualified 360-degree feedback tool. These will provide insights and clarity. Ask your coach: “How do I stop being a steamrolling boss and still produce intended results?” Then, listen, consider what has been said, and take corrective actions.
Be a Straight Talker. Remember, just because you have a frank and direct way of speaking does not make you a steamroller. People today feel comfortable with fluff and indirect conversations. However, these types of conversations can be time-consuming and produce limited results. Become the type of boss that talks straight without steamrolling. Remember to let your team know before you make comments they don’t or won’t want to hear.
©Jeannette Seibly, 2019
Developing your team is one of the most frustrating and difficult roles as a boss. Jeannette Seibly has been an award-winning champion for bosses for the past 26 years and has guided teams to succeed. Contact Jeannette today for straight talk with dynamic results.
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