Oscar Wild


It can't go on – something has to change. You've gotten multiple complaints from employees describing how difficult it is to work with this individual. You've realized it's not just a simple personality conflict – it's a chronic pattern of disrespectful behavior shown toward others, be they subordinates, peers and/or superiors of the abrasive leader.

You've tried talking to the individual, to no avail. You encounter denial: "I'm not abrasive!" or justification of the behavior as a necessary management strategy: "Sometimes you just have to be tough on people to get them to perform." The abrasive leader may even have acknowledged their destructive style and promised to change their ways, but after a brief period of improvement, the old behaviors return. You value this person's expertise, but their technical performance is now being overshadowed by their disruptive interpersonal conduct. You feel helpless – you wonder if the situation is hopeless.

You're not helpless, and contrary to common belief, abrasive leaders are not hopeless. Over the past thirty-five years of research and practice, we have developed an accelerated coaching process designed to help these individuals develop the insight and motivation to relinquish their abrasive styles in favor of more productive management strategies. He or she will find the process deeply rewarding and enjoyable, and you will see demonstrable results by the third coaching session.

To learn more about abrasive leaders and how to motivate upper management to intervene (including specifics on conducting the referral discussion), we invite you to download Winners Who Become Losers: Coaching Abrasive Leaders, (Insight Publishing, 2013)

For a detailed description of the coaching method, we invite you to download Dr. Crawshaw’s Coaching Abrasive Leaders: Using Action Research to Reduce Suffering and Increase Productivity in Organizations, (International Journal of Coaching in Organizations, Autumn, 2010)

To find a Boss Whisperer®, please contact the Institute.