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When Leadership Requires Tough Love

By Heather Joyner posted 02-14-2019 07:19


If you are leading in any capacity, whether it be mentoring a new hire, supervising a shift, or running a department, you will find yourself in a position of tough love when it comes to redirecting behaviors or disciplining of personnel.

Emotions play a BIG part in how we lead and how we communicate with our team(s). Some days we may experience joy, happiness, pride, or achievement, while other days our emotions are on a rollercoaster of frustration, sadness or disappointment.

So, how do you handle your emotions? Do they get the best of you by triggering an outburst? Do you gossip with those who you will find agreement? Are you passive aggressive and create havoc in your call center? Let's be honest, we've all played a part in the consequences of our actions when emotions are triggered.

Friends, I am here to tell you that leadership is not easy when leading a group of your peers. There are days where you have to be ok with someone not agreeing, or getting upset when you course-correct their behavior, set boundaries or in some cases discipline with a suspension or even termination. As long as you're leading you will get opportunities daily to practice your skills and learn new techniques. 

When you have an employee, who is not performing to standards, or an employee who fails to communicate, or one who oversteps their role, it is our position with the expectation that we address in a way that gets positive results.

Tough-love doesn't mean you discount the employee, gossip about them, embarrass them in front of their peers, or look for ammo to "get them in trouble" or terminate. Rather, you listen without judgment, set your boundaries, put a work plan in place and support your employee to get those positive results.

Maya Angelou says it best, "I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." On that note, let's lead by example.