Damage Control Behavior


Damage Control Behavior


Do you have a leader who is…

  • Well regarded by external customers but is arrogant and insensitive with coworkers?
  • Known for having high standards yet being very tough on others?
  • Respected for quality work but abrupt and rough at the edges?
  • New to the senior management team but not fitting in?
  • Misunderstood by their executive peers?
  • Lagging behind peers promotion wise?
  • Regarded as critical to the success of a merger and becoming a retention risk?
  • Sending their team and peers confusing messages?
  • Applying a double standard and affecting engagement and morale?

If you have a leader who is facing one of these challenges, we can help.

Four challenging situations where someone has a negative impact on others

A high performer may produce exceptional results, but if they don’t listen to the director’s feedback regarding poor working relationships with coworkers, it will create a negative atmosphere that reduces productivity. They need help to determine why they use different behavior for internal relationships, greater awareness of the impact alienation has on team effectiveness and a better appreciation of shared responsibility among peers.

A perfectionist workaholic with an ‘it’s never good enough’ attitude leading to morale issues in the team. This leader needs help to be more open to others’ viewpoints, more collaborative to problem solve, gain commitment, and make decisions and accommodate people at different phases and stages of career and life.

Leaders can value a “go to” person because of their individual contributions, but if that person is results oriented at the cost of working relationships, their effectiveness will decrease. The rough edges are taking people’s eyes off what’s important, but no one wants to be the messenger because this person does the work of three people. They need help with perception management and how their lapses impact and influence key working relationships and results.

Someone with specialized skills may be critical to new business directions, but his or her impatience and angry outbursts are causing increased staff turnover. They need help to be more patient and tolerant when under pressure, more empathic with a wide range of differing paces and skill levels.

Ever notice an elephant in the room?

ElephantInRoom_3448345_mIgnoring those who have a negative impact on others affects

engagement levels

trust and respect

the outcome of critical projects

talent retention

It may not be easy to call out a key person, but the consequences of not doing so are too big to ignore.

Think about it…people will question their commitment when you look the other way for a few yet expect everyone else to be more accountable. 

If you identified with one of these scenarios, Judi can help you.


I have helped many leaders deal with tough calls—whether they had to call out someone or they were the person that needed to adapt.

Together, we will determine what best fits.  Call me today at 416.761.1533 to discuss how I can help.


Three challenging situations where someone’s perceived as an outsider

An executive may be valued for their strong strategic and emotional intelligence skills but be out of synch with their peers. The split in the leadership team sends confusing messages to the director and manager levels. This executive needs help to determine what they are doing to contribute to the rift and whether or not they can measure and value the same things their executive peers do.

A senior manager, who has been ready to move to director level for some time is seeing peers move ahead while they lag behind. In spite of many conversations with leaders, no one offers any concrete reasons behind the stall. This manager needs help to determine why they are valuable to the organization in their technical capacity, but not as a leader. By naming the probable deficits, they can decide whether or not an individual contributor role or a director role fits their career path best.

A year after the merger a vice president is struggling to adapt to the acquiring company’s corporate culture, which is flatter and less hierarchal than that of the previous organization. This person needs help dealing with what they perceive to have been lost as a result of the merger, establishing working relationships based on a common purpose, and determining what growth there is in the new culture.

Some reasons why an outsider needs attention, so people aren’t distracted from the business:

When management isn’t attuned to differences, they risk letting dissension become the driving energy. An outsider brings a distinctly different perspective and energy to each challenge. If the gap isn’t clearly defined, communicated, and supported by key leaders, then it can become a power struggle, causing people to take sides and fracture energy and effort. Alternatively, the insiders may band together to make life difficult for the outsider. Either way, someone with positional power needs to be the messenger and become actively involved until the differences are honored, and the group refocused on the common goal.

When management says “in our company fit is important” and then they don’t listen to complaints or repeated requests, their actions imply that fit isn’t important here. A one on one between an executive and an outsider at the right time and place can do a lot to resolve contentious issues.

Two challenging situations of inconsistent behaviors

A director who trusts the team one day but micromanages them the next; praises one day but criticizes them the next for the very same things. Managers will shield staff from the confusion but get weary from the inconsistency. The director needs help to tame inconsistent behaviors, send congruent messages, and gain clarity about short-term and long-term goals.

An executive, who applies a double standard, impacts the morale of the team. They reiterate the message that respect is a company value, and everyone is expected to adhere without exception. But, then when they or a few select others are disrespectful, they condone or make excuses for them. They need help to redefine what is and isn’t respectful in a diverse workplace and how to call out themselves and others on inappropriate behavior.

Some reasons, why intercepting inconsistent behaviors is worth the effort.

When management allows inconsistent behaviors to persist, they are impacting the bottom line. An inconsistent leader may be getting results from their team, but it will not last indefinitely. Those, who value accountability, will seek opportunities elsewhere. Those, who don’t, will stick around.

Condoning double standards fosters a subculture where people have to “hold their noses” in order to coexist. Expectations are high for everyone.  When you exempt a select few from a code of conduct, it becomes a distraction to what matters. Better to retrain a few people than let their behavior cloud the accomplishments of many.

If you identified with one of these scenarios, Judi can help you.


I have helped many leaders deal with tough calls—whether they had to call out someone or they were the person that needed to adapt.

Together, we will determine what best fits the individual’s needs as well as those of their role in your organization.

Call me today at 416.761.1533 to discuss how I can help.


Here’s what three of my clients had to say about their coaching experiences

From a director who received a tough call

“It was tough getting a performance review with an exceeds for results and a below meets for how I achieved those results. I pride myself for doing exactly what I was hired to do but didn’t realize that people no longer wanted to work for me.

Your coaching helped me understand why I was so driven. Learning that I wasn’t devoid of empathy was a huge relief. Perception management helped me learn about others’ needs and the best ways to help them meet those needs while at the same time getting the work done. This has been a big stretch outside my comfort zone.

I am able to remain human when under pressure; my intolerance level is much greater than before, and working relationships have improved significantly. I can actually coach and develop my team members now instead of treating them like functioners. Oddly enough, I am much more satisfied with work now—something that was very elusive for me prior to our coaching sessions. Even my kids see a difference in me. Thanks for helping me change a humiliating experience into a humility experience.”

From a VP who received a tough call

“I still recall the day my CEO invited me for a discussion about how hard I was on people. I pride myself on being a tough, shrewd businessperson and felt I was doing my job extremely well, so her comments came as a surprise. She gave me some specifics that I could not dispute. I vividly recall doing them, but I had no idea what it was like being on the receiving end of my tirades.

Our video session was eye-opening for me. When I am ticked, I feel powerful but on video, I looked more ridiculous than powerful. This wasn’t a pretty experience; however, I am grateful to my CEO and the company for the coaching opportunity, especially at this stage in my career. Thanks to you and our coaching sessions, I have learned so much about myself and why I do what I do. I get it that receiving a message depends a lot on how the message is sent.

I sure wasn’t pleased with my first video coaching session, but the retake 10 months later was quite remarkable. I saw how I had developed depth and maturity. I came across as firm and powerful but with less aggression and a sincere openness. I am impressed with your coaching process because I am still a tough guy but in a very different way.”

From an HR director who had to deliver a tough call

“I have handled many difficult situations, but this one in particular required acute care. We were changing the job scope for a high performer, and optically it looked like a demotion when in fact it was providing support for a rapidly growing segment of the business. This director was achieving tremendous results, but to lose them at this stage would disrupt the business and set us back in a very detrimental way. We were also very concerned regarding the impact to the director’s health and well-being.

The CEO and I agreed to provide coaching support for the director so they could deal with their perceptions of the experience. Your behavior expertise helped the CEO and I anticipate what to expect and gave us ways to handle whatever scenario evolved once we delivered the message.

I found our preliminary discussions similar to a crisis management briefing, which equipped us with an action plan and communications plan. As an HR professional, I am trained to handle retention risks, and I have an extensive HR network, but this time your outside perspective alerted us to behavior aspects we would not have interpreted appropriately. 

This situation had a positive outcome. I cringe to think of the financial implications if it hadn’t been positive. The director is thriving, and the business is growing. We appreciate your coaching support for the three of us through all the phases.”

Want to know how I work?

Click here to see the methods I use. I customize every engagement, so this list is a menu that you and I will discuss. Together, we will determine what best fits the individual’s needs as well as those of their role in your organization. Call me today at 416.761.1533 to discuss how I can help.

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