Episode #77: Hidden Blockers to Accountability: Shaming Employees into Poor Performance

Have you ever seen a spark of creativity extinguished by a single dismissive remark from a leader? If so, you’re not alone. In this episode of Dismantling Dysfunction, we talk about the unconscious shaming done by leaders and peers and reveal how this pervasive issue chips away at team morale and damages a culture of accountability. Imagine the chilling effect when a team member’s bright idea is met with a “That’s been tried before. Didn’t you do your homework?” The room falls silent, the employee’s spirit deflates, and a wave of discomfort spreads through the team.

Join us as we discuss the subtle ways leaders, often unknowingly, demoralize their teams. We explore how this is not about intentional harm but about often unexamined behaviors that go unaddressed. We uncover the effects of thoughtless comments and how these can create a culture of fear and silence. This conversation isn’t just about pointing out the problem; it’s about understanding the profound impact of our words and actions in leadership roles and how we can use empathetic communication to motivate our teams.

Tune in to this episode to hear all about the complexities of unconscious shaming in leadership. We offer a unique perspective, blending stories with strategies for change, guiding both leaders and team members toward creating a more positive and accountable work environment. Tune in to learn how to recognize these patterns, the importance of emotional intelligence in leadership, and how nurturing the culture of accountability can transform team dynamics.

Don’t miss this crucial conversation—it’s a game-changer for anyone committed to building a healthier, more collaborative workplace culture!

If you want to know more about leading effectively, check out our book, “So, You Think You Can Lead?”: www.amazon.ca/dp/B07QMVKNSV/  


  • [01:33] Episode Introduction
  • [02:50] Narcissistic Leadership Traits
  • [09:00] Challenges to Accountability
  • [22:45] Episode Gem
  • [26:49] Episode Wrap Up


  • Narcissistic leaders are characterized by their charismatic yet self-centered nature, significantly impacting workplace dynamics. They are a significant accountability blocker as their behavior is often marked by a lack of empathy, a tendency to hoard credit, a propensity for denying mistakes, and engaging in gaslighting behaviors.


  • Narcissistic leadership behaviors contribute to the creation of toxic work environments, erode trust among team members, and hinder effective decision-making. These leaders frequently set unrealistic expectations for their teams, leading to employee burnout and a decline in productivity and performance.


  • Practical strategies for managing narcissistic leaders are offered, highlighting the importance of adhering to consistent standards of accountability and advising against taking the behavior of such leaders personally. The need for alignment with stated goals and behaviors as a key strategy to counteract the problematic tendencies of narcissistic leaders is emphasized.


  • Whether you’re a seasoned leader or a new manager, join us in this enlightening Accountability series on the Dismantling Dysfunction Podcast, as we pull back the curtain on what’s really going on. Remember, if you need help dealing with dysfunctions at work or in your personal life, reach out to us.  




"Deciding to compensate for poor performance instead of managing it is an act of self- disempowerment."
episode 18 quote tile 2 - "When acting from the Victim Leadership Persona, our power and sense of personal agency is taken away by seeing situations through a  lens of helplessness."
episode 18 quote tile 2 - "When acting from the Victim Leadership Persona, our power and sense of personal agency is taken away by seeing situations through a  lens of helplessness."

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