Solving the Problem of Abrasive Leaders

A free webinar series for those who manage,
work with, or work for abrasive leaders…

…and who want to know how to stop
them from being so abrasive.

…and who want to know how to stop them from being so abrasive.

An awesome, thorough, brilliantly multi-perspective webinar series. Thanks to the webinars I am confident about intervening - and intervening well. Sue gives us next steps that actually work!
Briana Jacoba
Consultant & Community Organizer

Abrasive leaders rub their coworkers the wrong way. Commonly referred to as workplace bullies, their destructive management styles erode motivation, engagement, innovation and productivity.

But getting them to stop being abrasive?

Now that’s the challenge.

Maybe you’ve tried talking to them, giving them feedback, setting boundaries, standing up to them, sending them to training, or even bringing in a coach or complaining to HR/their boss.

But their capacity to defend and justify themselves seems limitless. All too often they turn the tables on one: they’re not the problem, you/others are.

The reason these approaches don’t work is that they are rooted in profound misconceptions on who the abrasive leader is, why they do what they do, what it takes to get them to see and care about their impact, as well as what it takes to motivate them to change.

To solve the problem of abrasive leaders we need to start by dispelling the myths about them.

And then use abrasive-leader specific strategies.

Webinar 1

Rough Diamond or Poison in the Water?
The Conundrum of Abrasive Leaders

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They’ve been called snakes in suits, hyena’s, psychopaths and many other names.

But are they?

I’m no apologist for abrasive leaders (a.k.a. “bullies”). They cause hurt and harm – even trauma – to both the individuals affected and the organization as a whole.

And…failing to understand them means we consistently apply the wrong solutions and use strategies that won’t work.

In Webinar 1 we’ll cover:

In Webinar 1 we’ll cover:

Sue approaches this challenging subject with compassion and sensitivity. And the webinar content is very stimulating---logically extensive, emotionally aware and deep, somatically aware, and filled with practical applications of accurate research. It's real quality stuff.
Len Anspach
Director of Strategic Development
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Webinar 2

Protecting the Organization’s Mission:
How to Intervene with an Abrasive Leader

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Many HR leaders and managers feel challenged with what to do with an abrasive leader who is too good to fire, too expensive to keep, and who has been resistant to change and feedback on their interpersonal style.

In this webinar we’re going to watch two scenarios play out: an unsuccessful intervention and a successful intervention. 

And then we’ll draw out the lessons learned in each. 

You’ll walk away armed with how to respond to their highly predictable defensiveness, and how to avoid bruising fact battles that you can’t win.

Not in a position of authority? I still encourage you to attend. Here's why.

Yes, ultimately it is only those who have authority over the abrasive leader who have the real power to intervene.

But even if you are not in a position of authority over the leader, I encourage you to attend this webinar as understanding what management needs to do to intervene effectively (and why they so often don’t) will help you as you develop your own strategy and approach (Webinar 3).

In Webinar 2 we’ll cover:

In Webinar 2 we’ll cover cover:

You’ll also get “take and tweak” scripts that you can use to guide the conversation and be prepared to respond to defensiveness calmly, kindly, and clearly, without having to argue or get into fact battles.

Sue’s webinar was really helpful. We used Sue’s notes and scripts from Webinar 2 to prepare, and the feedback session went so well! We were able to deliver some pretty tough feedback. But it was well received! We were actually thanked for creating the space so that, really hard though it was to hear, the person could actually hear the feedback we needed to deliver.
HR Leader, Canada
What I found especially helpful was how Sue shared that abrasive leaders don't always understand the impact they are having; that their behavior can come out of their own insecurity. And also how to deal with the objection "I'm not responsible for other people's perception of me."
Caroline Hopkins
Women's Empowerment Coach, South Africa
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Webinar 3

Barking Dogs Get Shushed.
The Fatal, and Non-Fatal, Ways to Deal
with an Abrasive Boss

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You don’t want to leave. You used to love your job and you were good at it. But now work feels like torture and you’re starting to doubt your own abilities.

The emotional, mental and physical toll on targets of workplace bullying is tremendous. Traumatic is not too strong a word.

And while it is ultimately management’s responsibility to intervene and put an end to this major drain on organizational effectiveness, you may wait a very long time for that to happen. 

There are things that you can do to protect yourself and nudge management towards intervening.