LEADERSHIP / FEB. 02, 2015
version 2, draft 2

5 Reasons Why Forceful Leaders Develop Less Productive Teams

JP Bryan Group

Forceful leaders develop less productive teams. The old adage you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar holds true in this workplace scenario. Utilizing force to encourage team members to work is not going to succeed. The odds are against forceful leaders from developing productive teams. Most likely, demotivation will kick in. Resentment will take root or fear will take over. Additionally, some team members will begin to overcompensate and others will simply leave the job. This article will address why such forceful managers fail to develop productive teams in the workplace.

1. Demotivation Factor

One of the first reasons forceful leaders fail is that they quickly demotivate employees or team members. No one wants to willingly go to work each day and deal with a dictator-type leader or manager ruling with an iron fist. People need to work in order to receive a paycheck, so many individuals deal with such forceful leaders each day. However, such a leader would be wise to reevaluate his or her management style and seek a gentler touch in how to motivate the team. Positive reinforcement will go a long way towards motivating team members to become more productive.

2. Resentment Factor

When employees feel demotivated at work, they often fall in to a less productive mode. Generally speaking, they are not willingly coming into work with a conscious decision to slack off. However, when management rules with force instead of positive reinforcement, lack of motivation sets in and that quickly leads to resentment taking root. The employees begin to resent the leader and leadership style. They can even begin to transfer this resentment toward the executive management for allowing such a leader to manage their team. Resentment usually digs deep and takes a long time to dissipate. It can truly weigh down the positive energy and productivity in the workplace.

3. Domineering Factor

A third reason that forceful leaders fail to develop productive teams is because they cause fear to reign in the workplace through domineering control. Some team members turn from motivation to resentment and others turn toward fear of the leader. These employees fear losing their jobs if they don’t abide by the harsh rules set in place by the forceful leader. They begin to fear coming in to work each day, not wanting to receive another tongue-lashing or harsh deconstructive criticism of their work.

4. Overcompensating Factor

Some employees move from these three factors to number four, where they completely overcompensate for the forceful leader. These individuals usually are the type who do not handle confrontation or conflict well, and choose to try to make the situation better for everyone involved. Instead, they are only adding to the unproductive state of the team. For example, those who overcompensate for the team work too hard and begin to burn out. They may fear reprisals from the leader, so they pick up the slack from those who are too demotivated to work. However, that only further cultivates unproductivity rather than a productive teamwork environment.

5. High Turnover Rate Factor

The final reason that forceful leaders develop less productive teams is because their tactics cause a high turnover rate of employees. There are individuals who will not put up with working for such a forceful manager, so they resign and look for work elsewhere. That causes a chain reaction and a new employee must be hired to take his or her place. This person needs to be trained and that means more time that is unproductive for the team as a whole. This can become a problem when multiple employees decide that they have had enough harsh treatment and they quit. At that point, hopefully, the executive management steps in and makes a change in leadership.

Forceful leaders need to take stock of their leadership style and become more balanced and proactive rather than reactive and always leading with a forceful hand.

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