Are you a software leader worried that the team members don’t like you?
You can stop worrying. They don’t have to like you. They just have to trust
By definition, leaders make change. The influence required for making change
does not require friendships with team members. What is required for
It is a mistake to expend effort seeking to be liked for two reasons. First, it
is not necessary. Second, it can backfire.
The number one way that it can backfire is that you may cease to be yourself in
your attempt to become liked. This is inauthentic. Inauthenticity is anathema
to developing trust. Being authentic is a required behaviour if you expect to
gain the trust of your team.
I have seen software team leaders lose trust in this way. It was a train wreck.
The leader’s loss of authenticity transformed the company from an innovative
software shop to something ugly in short order. It was more like a group of
prisoners in a gulag plotting their escape than an engaged software team.
Also, consider yourself. If you cease to be your authentic self in your effort
to become liked, then your self-esteem is threatened and your own happiness
If you are worried that your team members don’t like you, then it is the
worrying that is the problem, not the lack of liking nor the team members.
Reflect upon why you need to be liked. Consider that it is you and your fragile
ego that need work, and not your team.