Bosses, your attitude could be harming your business.
We know, who do we think we are? This statement is harsh. Remember, we’re “bosses” too…we don’t like hearing it any more than you do.
But, as business consultants and staffing experts, our commitment is to create impact, income, freedom and—dare we say—joy and ease for your business. Even when it means being a mirror and reflecting back to you some things you are doing to self-destruct your business. And creating those things all starts with your attitude.
Last week we were facilitating a 60-Day Employee Evaluation Onboarding call for a new attorney hire. The attorney owner was exhausted, frustrated, stressed, and overwhelmed with a large caseload, training a new employee, finding out another associate attorney on her team didn’t pass the bar, and well…just “business owner stuff” in general. The attorney dialed in to the call hot and heavy. All we had to do was ask, “How’s it going?” She didn’t skip a beat. “I feel like I am fighting alligators all day long and nobody in my office knows how to do their job.” Did we mention that the new associate and law firm manager were present? Mic drop. And then she said, “And you didn’t do your job either, sending me this attorney who doesn’t have the skillset or knowledge to do the job.” Again, did we mentioned the brand new hire attorney was sitting in the room? And it took us four months to find this superstar. If she walks out, the owner attorney is really going to know the truest definition of stress.
My response, “Excuse me?”
Attorney response, “Did I stutter?”
Now that she “felt better” because she blew off steam and was able to verbally vomit all of her stress and frustration, she was ready to talk about what was working.
Listen up: unless you’re trying to cause a mass exodus, don’t ever, EVER treat your employees like this. Bosses, your attitude is harming your business! Tony Robbins says, “An attitude of gratitude is where money and opportunity flows.” When your feeling like you need to explode (and trust us, we get it!) find a coach, a therapist, a spouse, a close friend…SOMEONE to unleash your stresses to prior to walking into your office when your hair is on fire. Don’t even walk into the office when you’re feeling this way—go find neutral ground and get it out of your system. Especially when there are new hires in the building, you’re still trying to enroll them in why your place of business was the best investment in their future they have made.
We know this isn’t how 90% of the attorneys we work closely with operate. But you may have an associate with this mentality— share your expectations and standards with them. Too often we get calls: the attorney owner is amazing but they are locked in a conference room all day; the managing associate(s) who we spend all day with are another story…
Here are the top 3 bad attitude mistakes NOT to make if you want your team members to work as hard as you do day in and day out:
1. Constantly telling everyone how many hours you worked, what time you got up, how you didn’t sleep, didn’t get to pee yesterday, what you have to do before lunch, and how you are never going to make it home tonight. We cannot tell you how many entrepreneurs do this. Obsessively. This is the most disempowering and de-enrolling, backfiring strategy we have witnessed. This is how your team interprets these complaints: keep busy and don’t offer to take anything additional on because we don’t want to end up negative, stressed, and burnt out like our boss.
2. Don’t verbally abuse your team. EVER. It only takes one bad day to break the trust you’ve built with your team members…and it’s next to impossible to regain it. Your employees don’t care who you are. They don’t care what title you hold. They don’t care how long (or short) you’ve been doing what you’ve been doing. They don’t care how respected you are in your industry. Employees simply won’t tolerate being verbally abused by a frustrated, exhausted boss. This is not the 1990s patriarchal tyrant manager era any more. Employees will not hesitate to give up every perk under the sun for respect and appreciation.
3. Don’t ignore your employees. Throughout the recruiting and hiring processes, when we ask potential new hires why they are looking to leave their companies, the one thing we hear over and over again is this: “we only hear from the boss when things are bad. I love the mission of the company, my co-workers, our clients, and everything we stand for. If only we could hear about what we are doing right, receive consistent feedback, support, and coaching on how to improve and grow. I can’t describe it, there is an energy in the office that feels like we are rearranging chairs on the deck of the Titanic all day.”
If you’re not showing up as a nice person, people won’t work for you. Sorry, but it’s the truth. If you’re ship is sinking, maybe it’s time to admit that your attitude might be to blame.