Why Allowing a Team’s Release of Pent-Up Frustration Keeps You in Power

Repeated social interaction with the same individuals is a breeding ground for mutual internal dialogues. 

The comfortable confidence those who see you often operate with, introduces randomness to your times with them. What was said last week lingers, passive aggressive games commence, and personal agendas are pushed. 

Your leadership positions in life will involve being highly accessible to, and in reach of, those you lead. They’ll think what they think of you; ultimately serving to aid you with their support, or demean you with their disdain. 

The internal dialogue of the individuals around you is an aspect of leadership which will demand focus. Who has ulterior motives? Which individuals form alliances to sabotage your decisions and plans?

Pressure to control what your followers think and say about you is a dangerous mistress to flirt with. Oppressive government regimes dangerously censor online speech and oppressive parents in-advisably punish kids for expressing their feelings in unpleasant ways. 

The patterns of leaders first growing in influence then attempting to control information repeat in all facets of authority. An inability to succumb to the fact that unfavorable pent up emotions will always exist in those around them is the principal mistake these leaders make. 

This article aims to provide you with tools to safely combat the dangers of pent-up internal dialogue within those you lead. 

 


Encouraging Debate Preoccupies Public Discourse


Others coming to your reputation’s defense rather than defending it yourself is almost always a more effective way to protect it. 

However, enticing your supporters to voice their positive perception of you and your work is more complicated than simply pleading. 

Being direct in your request for support from those who have historically shown it can signal weakness and anxiety. You’d be seen operating reactively to any expressed anger or outrage shown by other members of the group you lead. 

Recommended Book: The Intelligent Investor.

In such a case, your supporters’ confidence would mimic yours from the start. They will be shaky, reactive, and desperate. Since the pressure you were so direct in casting would rest on their shoulders, your supporters’ defense is likely to turn argumentative and rigid. 

If you were to allow, and sit on, the expression of pent up frustration from the perhaps unsupportive members of the group you lead, you’d notice certain patterns. 

Your supporters will be there to defend you as you would expect. 

However, they’d be doing so by their own accord; without your added pressure guiding their rebuttals. They’d sow truthful and legitimate seeds of doubt in the perspective of their peers who release their frustration with you. 

Discourse between members of your team will thereby center on the issues that frustrated members bring up. With that knowledge, you’d be capable of gathering information to supplement your communication strategy. You would also be able to rely on their distracted state surrounding one issue to capitalize on what their collective gaze does and doesn’t focus on. 

 

Recommended Book: The Infinite Game.

Repeated Criticisms Lose Their Intrigue


A cliche is less interesting than a novel discovery or concept. Allowing and encouraging the release of the pent up frustration of your team will serve to disempower the originality behind their critiques. You’d not only be unsurprised yourself as time goes on, your supporters would have heard the same things in multiples as well. 

The critiques thrown at you will thereby turn old, and then glaze over. 

Those realizing that their frustrations have been voiced to the point of turning into cliches will feel less motivated to express their thoughts. 

This tendency can be observed in populations that rationalize oppressive dictatorships which govern their regions. They’ve heard it all before, and have begun looking for things to be optimistic about. 

(Dictators have much more to worry about than pent up frustration from those whom they lead; don’t yearn to be one in any context. This was just an example of the concept.) 

Ride people’s innate desire to come up with original thoughts and opinions in the face of pent up frustration being expressed about your leadership skills. Allow the fire of frustration to burn out to leave smoldering coals.

 


Unforeseeable Pressure Leaks Are Avoided With a Pressure Valve


A benefit you’ll notice in being agreeable and welcoming of your team’s pent up frustrations will be the habits that you foster. By allowing them to express their pent up frustration, you’ll do your part in conditioning direct communication channels. 

As mentioned prior, the strategic benefits you’ll run into will arm your future decisions in communicating with your team. You’ll have first hand knowledge of the things being said about your leadership traits. You’ll be able to adjust as well as utilize your team’s attention in calculated ways. 

Setting yourself up to be the pressure valve which releases pent up frustrations among your team members will condition a dependent release of pressure. 

You would lower the risk of those you lead releasing frustration during surprising times and in damaging contexts. A habit of being a supportive listener to even the harshest truths will develop a predictable and safe way for you to find out about the frustrations members of your team endure. 

Recommended Book: The Infinite Game.

As a leader of any group, you’ll likely have the most power to enact change to suit the frustrations of those you manage. It is for this reason that you’ll be seen as an enticing party to voice frustrations to if you remain open in your reaction to them. 

You’ll thereby raise your chances of being the first one to hear about things which may damage your reputation. 

You’d be able to discuss ideas and plans going forward. You’d also have the capacity to prepare public relations strategies in regards to any internal disputes within your team. Conditioning a habit among your team to come to you with their frustrations simply puts you ahead of the curve. 

 

Recommended Book: The Art of Thinking Clearly.

The Best Listeners Have Nothing Left to Say


You’ll discover people being accepting of excuses and explanations for your behavior or plans when they’ve been allowed to say what was on their mind. Your subordinates will have issues with your strategic plans as  a leader of any group of people. Allowing their expression of those worries and frustrations will give you breathing room when it comes time to explain a vision and the thought processes behind it. 

Rather than painting yourself out to be a contender in this context, ensure your presence as a decision maker is felt. 

Decision makers thereby command respect because they hear all inputs from the teams they manage. 

They’re calm in discussion, and are stable whilst listening to the frustrations that their subordinates express. 

After you’ve heard the issues and frustrations people come to you with, the floor will be yours to enact your vision. Communicate and conduct only after the noise has settled. 

Recommended Book: The 4-Hour Workweek.

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Disclaimer of Opinion: This article is presented only as opinion. It does not make any scientific, factual, or legal claims in any way.