Have you ever found yourself going above and beyond to meet the demands and expectations of others, often at the expense of your own needs?
Maybe you have experienced the familiar pang of anxiety when faced with the possibility of disappointing someone, or perhaps you've sacrificed your own well-being to maintain harmony within your team.
If these situations strike a chord, then you might be familiar with the perilous path of people pleasing.
People pleasing, at first glance, might seem like an admirable trait. After all, who wouldn't want to be liked and respected by those they lead?
However, when leaders constantly prioritize others' approval, they inadvertently compromise their own authenticity and decision-making capabilities.
The need to please can overshadow their ability to make tough choices or provide constructive feedback, resulting in a lack of growth for both themselves and their team members. It's a delicate balance that can easily tip into a cycle of resentment, frustration, and missed opportunities.
In this week's Hot Seat Coaching newsletter, I delve into the impact of people pleasing with one of my Executive Coaching clients, exploring how to address this tendency head-on.
Who’s in the Hot Seat?
Madison, the Vice President of Operations at an immersive entertainment company.
Let me share the story of Madison, a client who was once trapped in the quagmire of people pleasing. In her role, Madison often found herself catering to the whims of demanding stakeholders, striving to keep everyone content and maintain the illusion of seamless perfection. She would work tirelessly, stretching herself thin and overcommitting to unrealistic expectations, all in the pursuit of pleasing others.
However, Madison's constant need for approval resulted in an unfortunate incident during a major product launch. In her efforts to satisfy everyone, she neglected to set realistic timelines and failed to communicate potential roadblocks to her team. As a result, the project faced significant delays, leaving stakeholders disappointed and her team feeling unsupported. This incident was a turning point for Madison, prompting her to seek my guidance with overcoming her people-pleasing tendencies.
Now let's take a closer look at the strategies Madison used to break free from the people-pleasing trap. It was a challenging journey, but she was determined to make a change. Here's how she did it:
From People Pleaser to Powerhouse Leader!
First, Madison realized the importance of setting boundaries. She recognized that she couldn't be everything to everyone all the time. So, she started by figuring out her own limits and communicating them openly. By being clear about what she could realistically handle and when, she created a healthier work-life balance for herself.
Another crucial step for Madison was prioritizing self-care. She understood that taking care of herself was essential for her well-being and leadership effectiveness. She made sure to incorporate self-care practices into her daily routine, such as exercise, mindfulness exercises, and indulging in her hobbies. By investing in herself, she had more energy and focus to lead her team effectively.
One of the game-changers for Madison was learning to communicate authentically. She realized that being honest and transparent about her thoughts, ideas, and concerns not only built trust but also encouraged her team members to do the same. By fostering an environment where everyone felt comfortable expressing themselves, Madison opened the door to more innovative thinking and collaboration within her team.
Embracing constructive feedback was another critical aspect of Madison's growth. She understood that feedback was a valuable tool for personal and professional development. So, she actively sought feedback from her team members and stakeholders, viewing it as an opportunity to learn and improve. By embracing constructive feedback, she created a culture of continuous improvement within her team.
Madison also shifted her leadership style to empower her team members. Instead of being overly accommodating, she began delegating responsibilities and providing them with autonomy. She wanted her team to feel empowered and trusted to make decisions. This not only alleviated the pressure on herself but also created a more engaged and motivated workforce.
Lastly, Madison made self-reflection a regular practice. She took time to reflect on her actions, decisions, and interactions with others. This introspection allowed her to gain insights into her people-pleasing tendencies and make intentional adjustments. By continuously learning and growing, she became a more self-aware and effective leader.
These strategies might sound simple, but for Madison, they made a world of difference. By embracing her true self and prioritizing authenticity, she created an environment where she and others can thrive and reach their full potential.
Ready to Stop People Pleasing?
Apply to the Excel Executive Coaching Program Today!
Looking for Leadership Development Experts for Your Leadership Development Project?