News & Insights

​Our detox series looks at key challenges faced by leaders and managers.
1. The Naysayer

Everything is impossible to the naysayer. They see the pitfalls in every plan, every risk is imminent and every vision will fail. Unfortunately, the naysayer, will usually share their prophecies of doom openly or undercover. This is detrimental to an organisation trying to develop or build a culture of innovation and a confident and creative team. Usually the Naysayer, if charismatic enough will form a clique and then left unchecked, they will collectively undermine, new initiatives and cause serious doubt to develop in a toxic manner. They are usually overt and challenging which initially presents as open and frank discourse. However it soon sows doubt and distrust, this then causes a split between management and staff.

This is quite different from raising issues in a constructive manner with a solutions focused mind-set. To the Naysayer – there are no solutions. This can be a particularly challenging issue during a change process which by definition may involve a few bumps along the way. The Naysayer is concerned with building a powerbase that sees the bumps as evidence that the destination is out of reach and undermines confidence in the ‘drivers’ of change. Ironically, this attitude often masks low confidence and ‘fear of change’. The big danger of the Naysayer is the ability to undermine the organisation’s culture which unchecked can harm any business.

2. The Charmer

Superficially, the Charmer is a delight. They will volunteer in meetings and take on those tasks that seem vital but without a project lead. They are agreeable, will flatter and will rarely offend. The Charmer has a well cultivated affable exterior.

The problem with the charmer is that they can also be very ineffective. The effort that goes into maintaining a charming exterior is the only effort they are willing to make.

At a push they will work when it becomes obvious that they are not pulling their weight but unfortunately, they are adept at wriggling off the hook. The Charmer lives for the applause and ability to amuse colleagues and clients and does not necessarily enjoy the rigour of completing a piece of work to a high standard. Colleagues soon become disenchanted with them as they wise up to their ways and unless a manager is very skilled in dealing with the Charmer, they wriggle of the hook with a series of excuses which means they rarely get held to account. This is obviously detrimental to team dynamics.

3.The Perennial Networker

The Perennial Networker like the Charmer likes to work people. This personality type is focused on purposeful networking. Initially this is an attractive quality as most organisations want to develop collaborative relationships with other organisations and having a good ambassador for the company is a good thing. Who better than the confident and willing Perennial Networker?

The problem is, the Perennial Networker is not there to benefit the organisation. His/her primary purpose is to benefit their own career progression and increase their contacts. This can lead to conflicts of interest unless there are very clear boundaries and targets set.

Good management including robust performance management is the best tool to ensure that all individuals in the team are not consciously or subconsciously undermining business goals.

These 3 personality types tend to be larger than life and require strong management to support them to use their skills in the best way for the organisation or in the worse case scenario to find a more appropriate avenue for their skills outside of the company.