How Leaders Transform Victim Mentality with Chris Joyner (Ep. #36)

By
The Better Manager Team
BetterManager Executive Coach

September 14, 2021

Building Better Managers Podcast Episode #36: How Leaders Transform Victim Mentality with Chris Joyner

As we strive to be better leaders and managers, it’s a big challenge to deal with team members that are struggling with a victim mentality. Our guest, Chris Joyner, will share his personal experience with it and we will discuss how to recognize and deal with it when we see it in members of our team.

Chris' ‍4 Essential Leadership Principles For Addressing Victim Mentality can help us understand that the responsibility is to resist the urge to rescue them, expect things like blame shifting, and move the transformation forward by being tactical and asking great questions.

In this episode:

Meet Chris:

  • Chris is the founder of Joyner Advising Group, a team of leadership consultants, executive advisors and coaches that partners with forward-looking leaders around the nation to help them navigate their most significant challenges and opportunities.
  • Over the last decade, Chris has facilitated hundreds of Adaptive Leadership, Team Development and Strategic Planning sessions for large corporations, small businesses and nonprofits. Chris was certified with the International Coach Federation in 2017, and has personally advised and coached 100+ Senior Executives and leaders from the nation's largest corporations to privately held businesses in Energy, Healthcare, Telecommunications, Insurance and Media Publishing. 
  • A a thought leader and contributing author on leadership effectiveness for The Business Journals, Chris has a proven track record of helping clients create alignment within their organizations so that they can drive and deliver sustainable, mission-centric results.

4 Essential Leadership Principles For Addressing Victim Mentality

  1. Understand your role and responsibility
  2. Resist the Superhero urge. Ask questions and get to the real issues - remember that rescuing feeds into the feeling of being a victim!
  3. Expect blame shifting and disruption. Creating confusion is the ultimate strategy to evade responsibility and hide from accountability. Given this, it is important that the leader constantly reframe the issue back to the individual’s responsibility to choose his or her own way forward within the constructs of the organization’s mission, values, and strategy. This reframing must always put the onus on the individual to make a decision. (The leader should never make the decision unless it is time to terminate employment.)
  4. Wait. Waiting is critical when addressing a victim mentality! Many leaders ask a good question but do not wait for an answer. In fact, some answer it themselves. Someone hoping to be rescued will let the leader go on and on and on which increases the likelihood of an rescue - letting them off of the hook - whether intentional or not.

What To Do When Team Members Act Like Victims

  • Address it early.
  • At the beginning be transformational - Share your observations with the individual. "Here is what I am noticing, there seems to be a change." "I was surprised by this..."
  • Be curious - Ask open-ended questions that can lead to greater insight and awareness of the unhelpful or damaging activity/failure so next steps can be identified and taken. If ineffective, become more tactical and transactional. More directive with clear communication about accountability measures that will be taken if behavior continues.
  • Change your language. Try to get rid of these phrases: "I had to…" "I’ll be forced to…" "I don’t have any other choice…"
  • If consistently frustrated and unhappy, look at your other options. Unless you are an actual victim, you will have other options. You may choose to make a change or you may change your attitude and perspective and remain in your current situation.

What's the alternative to a victim mentality?

  • Ownership. It is much more fulfilling.

Downloads & Resources

Follow Chris on LinkedIn, Facebook and at The Joyner Advising Group.

Subscribe to our podcast on your favorite podcast platform!

Check out our blog articles on Leadership here.

About Chris Joyner

Chris is the founder of Joyner Advising Group, a team of leadership consultants, executive advisors and coaches that partners with forward-looking leaders around the nation to help them navigate their most significant challenges and opportunities.

Over the last decade, Chris has facilitated hundreds of Adaptive Leadership, Team Development and Strategic Planning sessions for large corporations, small businesses and nonprofits. Chris was certified with the International Coach Federation in 2017, and has personally advised and coached 100+ Senior Executives and leaders from the nation's largest corporations to privately held businesses in Energy, Healthcare, Telecommunications, Insurance and Media Publishing. 

A a thought leader and contributing author on leadership effectiveness for The Business Journals, Chris has a proven track record of helping clients create alignment within their organizations so that they can drive and deliver sustainable, mission-centric results.

Episode Transcript

Posted on

September 14, 2021