Came across this article after researching a way to help a friend deal with an aggressive manager.  The biggest thing we were looking at was how to not take it personally and adjust her approach accordingly to recognize the negative behavior, bring constructive attention to it and not let it stop her working towards a better environment in which for her to do her job. 

The article starts by explaining where this idea of “aggressive personality = strong leader” came from.   It then goes on to debunk that idea.  The article says

While all busy human beings experience impatience from time to time, overly pushy, bullying or aggressive behavior is often indicative of weakness rather than strength. The weak man or woman wants to appear stronger, bigger and smarter than s/he believes him or herself to be. In over-compensating for that weakness, responses to others come out as terse or belligerent. – Bozkaya

I think that it is important to recognize where this type of “leadership” stems from as that bit of perspective can help deal with it constructively.  It is easier to deal with issues at work once you have removed the emotional component.   I am in no way saying that an aggressive boss is ok or that anyone should put up with something that is hurting them or creating a hostile work environment, but I do think that sometimes it comes to poor management and people need to be given the opportunity to change.  

Bringing light on issues and a path for growth should be provided (within reason). Also, those were at the receiving end of the aggression should also have that recognized; there is nothing wrong with apologies and admitting fault!

Do you have any experience with aggressive “leadership” at work?  How did you deal with it or wish you had dealt with it?

Read the full article here.

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