Leaders, Are You too Easily Offended?

Jan 10, 2020 1 Min Read



Leadership gets narrow and life shrinks for the easily offended.

All leaders receive unjust criticism. You’re judged based on inadequate information, false assumptions, or someone’s unspoken preferences.

It’s better to focus on OUR own responsibilities, but it’s easier to know what OTHERS should do.

The negative impact of taking offence:

  1. Coddling an offence limits your potential.
  2. Unresolved offences become excuses for poor performance.
  3. Rehearsing offences marginalizes your talent.
  4. Focusing on offences shrinks your ability to influence because of isolation.
  5. Buried offences make you brittle.

People lie to protect thin-skinned leaders.

Resolving offences:

#1. It’s about YOU, not the offence.

Offences are secondary matters.

You might think offences are the problem. But the real issue is how YOU respond to offences.

Your response to offence lets everyone see what’s in your heart.

#2. Get a bigger cup.

If you’re easily offended, you’re constantly in turmoil.

Learn to overlook minor offences.

When pebbles keep you up at night, don’t expect to find rest. You can’t maximize someone’s strengths when you focus on their weakness.

There is a measure of “putting up with” in all relationships. Stop picking at little scabs or they’ll get infected.

Forgiveness expands your capacity to navigate offences.

The issue you can’t forgive is the lid of personal growth and useful service.

The ability to integrate offences expands your capacity to serve.

#3. Bring up issues with purpose in mind.

Sometimes you can’t un-smell a stink.

When you bring it up…

Determine what you want before you bring up an offence.

  1. What do you want FROM others?
  2. What do you want FOR others?
  3. If you successfully resolve the offence, what will be different?
  4. What are you prepared to do to achieve what you want?

When you can’t resolve offences, YOU become toxic. The Dead Sea is dead because it hangs on to everything.

What suggestions do you have for easily offended leaders?


Dan Rockwell is a coach and speaker and is freakishly interested in leadership. He is an author of a world-renowned leadership blog, Leadership Freak. To get in touch with Dan, write to us at editor@leaderonomics.com.

Reposted with permission.

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This article is published by the editors of Leaderonomics.com with the consent of the guest author. 

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