Sheila M. Kelly

Disengagement and Leadership… What Lies Beneath

In any coaching or training relationship related to disengagement and leadership, sooner or later we get around to discussing the shoulds… those undefined, sometimes unspoken and often unconscious dissatisfactions that are underscoring the culture of disengagement.

Some examples include:monday11

  • You think others should appreciate you more or…
  • You should have gone for that promotion (after all, it went to someone much less qualified) or
  • You should be working with more intelligent people or…
  • Head office should spend some time in the trenches so they could understand what it’s like to be the recipient of all that change management or…
  • Your staff should stop complaining so much and just do their jobs or…
  • Everyone should understand that there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish all that needs to be done.

In other words, there is something wrong with you or something wrong with them… those people who are populating your workplace and your world. The finger-pointing is going both ways… from management to staff and vice versa. Up and down the organizational chart, the majority of workplaces are the in the grip of shoulding.

Whatever the should and no matter its legitimacy, it is like a thief, lurking in the shadows of our collective psyche and robbing many of job satisfaction, not to mention inner peace and happiness.

The shoulds also contain an element of disappointment, despair and powerlessness, reflecting the death of what we dreamed our workplace could be.

Plato said,  An unexamined life is not worth living, which points to the importance of understanding the nooks and crannies of all the shoulds in our belief system. They are a major source of workplace disengagement and, thus, a major bottom-line cost.

Are you willing to look at the costs of all the should-ing, both personal and financial?

Are you willing to explore the benefits of letting them go? No matter how legitimate they are in appearance, they are responsible  for a pain that is pervasive but which can be overcome.

Beyond all the shoulds is another way of being.

I would love to hear from you about your experience with the shoulds, either when you’re in their grip or when you let them go.




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