People-pleasing gets in the way of making the calls that may be unpopular or sharp-edged yet necessary.
As you consider your approach to those you lead, it’s important to gauge the extent to which your need to be liked may at times interfere with your own effectiveness.When you avoid people-pleasing, you are able to make more sustainable and prudent choices, which ultimately better serve those you would aim to please.
Ask yourself these self-coaching questions:
- How important is being liked by those I lead?
- In what ways do I tend to make choices primarily to please others?
- How much hesitation do I experience when I need to say "no"?
- How much do I equate being candid with uncomfortable confrontation?
- What difficult situations, people issues, or decisions am I putting off for too long?
- How can I hold myself accountable to balancing my desire to be liked / likable with facing more challenging issues?
Leading to be likable works until it doesn't.
Why practice greater care about being liked / likable? Leaders who make choices or avoid decisions primarily to please others are being validated constantly by positive reactions and popularity. Yet ultimately, that will turn negative when the burden of being likable turns to anger, or simply leads an organization off the rails. That makes a little self-coaching in this area worthwhile.