Todd Adkins is the Director of Leadership at LifeWay, and heads up the Ministry Grid team. Todd’s goal, with the rest of the Ministry Grid team, is to provide churches a tool to assist them in training leaders and volunteers at every level from the parking lot to the pulpit.
6 Ways To Lead Staff You Don’t Like
Some of you will be deeply offended and leave this post right after the next sentence. While you should love everyone on your staff, it’s ok if you like some people more.
In fact, its important for you to realize that you are eventually going to end up with someone on your team that you don’t really like. I am not talking about someone who is downright toxic to your culture, those people should be removed from your organization. I am speaking of someone who adds value to your work and team but there’s something about their personality that rubs you the wrong way.
When push comes to shove you are a leader and you are going to have make some adjustments so that your team can continue to function at a high level.
Here are six ways you can lead staff members you don’t like.
1. First, identify what is YOUR problem?
If their performance is satisfactory this is really your issue after all. You owe it to yourself and to them to take a good hard look at what it is that you find so irritating. Are they too negative, too obsessed with a hobby, or they are too aggressive? Is it something superficial? While you cant change a staff members personality, mannerisms, or modus operandi you can choose to change your attitude and how you interact with them. If you don’t it is only a matter of time before it becomes apparent to them or the rest of your team.
2. You don’t have to be personal friends with all of your staff.
There is a natural expectation of separation between work life and personal life in the business world but the lines are much more fuzzy in the church. The smaller the staff the fuzzier it gets. Be sure you manage expectations and establish healthy boundaries when bringing new people on board.
3. Be professional and courteous with them.
The key here is to remembering to be professional and treat them how you would want to be treated. Take a genuine interest in them and margin time for them. Make a conscious effort to engage them in conversation about their life outside of the organization.
4. Knock out a big project shoulder to shoulder.
It gets much harder not to like somebody if you have worked hard side by side to achieve something great. I would also remind you that taking on something particularly difficult together can have an even greater effect. This is much more risky, however, as pressure may also further exacerbate the problem.
5. Don’t make them an inside joke.
If this person has a quirk, mannerism, habit, etc. that is bothersome or downright annoying do not share it with other employees. Just because its funny doesn’t mean you have to share it. It is not funny and will ultimately undermine your leadership with your team. If you have a team like mine there are no holds barred and everyone and everything is fair game…but that’s another post.
6. Focus on their value to the team.
At the end of the day, you have obviously already decided that this employee is adding enough value to keep around so focus on what makes them so valuable to the team.
Todd Adkins is the Director of Leadership at Lifeway Christian Resources. He is passionate about the development of leaders, especially within the church. Todd served in student ministry and as an executive pastor for several years before joining the leadership at Lifeway to head up Ministry Grid, Lifeway’s dynamic new leadership development platform featuring over 3,700 videos and a fully customizable learning management system for churches. Todd’s goal, with the rest of the Ministry Grid team, is to provide churches a tool to assist them in training leaders and volunteers at every level from the parking lot to the pulpit. You can follow him on Twitter @ToddAdkins.