Monopolising bosses bad for business

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People with strong leaders in their group are less willing to speak up in meetings – and their silence could be costly, according to a study published in this month’s Academy of Management Journal.

Researchers observed meetings as part of the study and found that those in charge did all the talking and failed to gather input from others in the group, MarketWatch reported.

“These types of performance problems are most likely to emerge when leaders let their power go to their heads,” Leigh Plunkett Tost, the paper’s co-author and assistant professor of management and organisation at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, said. “They end up dominating the conversation, the teams don’t work as collectively and they aren’t able to perform as well.”

In comparison when someone who wasn’t a formal leaser tried to dominate the meeting, those in the group were unlikely to defer to them. And that those teams with dominant leaders performed poorly when compared to teams that lacked formal leaders and teams with leaders who didn’t feel powerful.

Researchers said the lesson to be learned from the results is that companies should encourage equal participation and for those in leadership roles to actively seek input from the whole team.

Workers should also try harder to share their ideas with their boss and colleagues.

J.T. O’Donnell, chief executive of Careerealism.com, a career-advice and job-search site, said it may be best to have one-one meeting for those workers who find it hard to voice their opinions or concerns in a group setting.

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