Leadership and Criticism at the Workplace

Subject: Management
Pages: 1
Words: 399
Reading time:
2 min
Study level: College

Good communication at workplace means that people demonstrate mutual respect and can both take the initiative or follow others’ ideas. Communication becomes bad when the involved parties refuse to listen to each other, push only their own side, and thus do not help the working process. Healthy communication between workers and group leaders is the crux of a successful teamwork. Conflicts may arise when there is no balance between both sides.

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Because leaders play the central role as the commanding part of the team, they have strong influence over the team. It may become an issue: on the one hand, there is more pressure on leaders to ensure success, but on the other hand, the additional power they have may lead to unhealthy and toxic behavior. Criticism plays an essential part in the job’s or project’s process, allowing the team to notice and address potential or existing issues.

Accepting and analyzing criticism requires self-awareness and self-reflection that many people struggle with. When combined with unhealthy egos, entitlement, and lack of compassion, it may lead to a leader who dismisses and undervalues the importance of their followers. It is, therefore, the primary reason why leaders rarely react positively to the criticism instead of considering it. Leadership is a skill that needs self-work to be sufficient, and it can be negatively impacted by some personal traits and interpersonal relationships within the group. Without learning how to accept criticism in a constructive and balanced manner, many leaders may feel it is disrespectful towards their position.

When a leader stands in the top position in their company, their failure to accept criticism may affect not only a team but also the entire company and sometimes even the industry. When Volkswagen’s vehicles were found to have cheated US emissions tests, their former CEO, Martin Winterkorn, had to step down and leave the company (Mujkic and Donald 366).

Only after that was it revealed by the company’s workers how the leadership in the company created a culture of fear in which it was unthinkable to question the superiors’ decisions (Mujkic and Donald 366). Examples such as this demonstrate that when leaders fail to listen to the team’s input, it can have massive consequences for the entire company. Therefore, it raises a question: how can it be ensured that team members feel safe to voice their opinions even if it may go against the superiors’ vision?

Work Cited

Mujkic, Edin, and Donald Klingner. “Dieselgate: How Hubris and Bad Leadership Caused the Biggest Scandal in Automotive History.” Public Integrity, vol. 21, no. 4, 2019, 365-377.